Tuesday night’s fire ripped through a built-up area on Koh Phi Phi. The blaze apparently was started by an exploding gas canister in the kitchen of a small hotel. (Photo by Krabi Phitak Pracha Foundation)
KRABI: A blaze on Koh Phi Phi that injured nine tourists and left 100 without accommodation late on Tuesday night has raised concerns over inadequate fire controls on the resort island.
Business operators who lost 25 buildings not only shouldered huge damages, estimated at 30 million baht, but the accident also exposed how inadequately they curbed or prevented the blaze from quickly spreading, deputy Krabi governor Aphinan Phuekphong said.
Local officials assessing the event were unsatisfied with their prevention plan.
“A grave worry is Phi Phi is crowded with communities and shops, but it lacks fire extinguishing systems,” Mr Aphinan said.
His concern was shared by Krabi Provincial Administrative Organisation head Somsak Kittithonkun who also asked why the island “does not even have tap water” to put out fires.
The accident spurred authorities to start talks on infrastructure and better fire management, he said.
Three Thais and six foreign tourists suffered burns and smoke inhalation after jumping for their lives from buildings when a fire raged through shops, bungalows and a small hotel on the island, officials said.
Inquiries found the fire started in the kitchen of the small October Hostel Resto Hotel about 9.30pm, Mr Aphinan said.
Firefighters believed a cylinder of cooking gas exploded. It took about three hours to douse the flames.
The six injured foreign tourists — two Brazilians, three Argentinians and an Israeli — and injured Thais were taken to Koh Phi Phi Hospital and local clinics.