One young woman awoke from her sleep at 2 pm to loud cash noises with a rain of debris and dust from her ceiling. Initially, she was trapped as the door wouldn’t open but was later helped to safety. The governor of Chonburi was at the scene and coordinated with government agencies.

A building block comprising of 16 small one-room apartments was evacuated and cordoned off in Mueang Chonburi on Monday near the seaside after it moved from its position and subsided into the ground. There were no reported injuries following the incident.

The photo shows the Governor of Chonburi Pakkhathorn Thianchai (centre) with officials at the scene on Monday afternoon in the Bang Sai as tenants of the building retrieved belongings. One Thai woman Arunee Nungthong (inset top centre) told how she awoke to crash noises and raining debris. She was rescued by other tenants when the door to her rented one-room apartment jammed. Luckily, she was never in danger and no one was injured in the incident which occurred after 2 pm.

On Monday afternoon in Mueang Chonburi which is about 100k south-west of Bangkok, a building containing 16 small room apartments subsided drastically causing panic and fear among those living in the block who were mainly tenants.

The governor of Chonburi, Pakkhathorn Thianchai, was quickly at the scene leading officials of various government agencies to inspect the damage and seek to understand what had happened. In comments to the press at the site of the building, the leader of the province expressed thanks that no one had been killed in the subsidence and subsequent evacuation.

Engineers say the building was built on muddy soil

The incident occurred at Soi 73 to 75 In the Bang Sai district of the capital city of Chonburi province adjacent to the sea on the eastern shore of the Gulf of Thailand. The building itself was on the seafront. The two-storey structures with 8 rooms on top and 8 at the bottom simply fell back from the street front at an angle. Engineers say the building subsided because it had been built on muddy soil.

Governor thankful that no one was killed

The housing block is understood to have been built over ten years ago according to the governor who gave an interview to media in the vicinity as shocked tenants of the building moved to recover belongings from the damaged structure. They reported that they heard very loud noises and cracking walls before the building appeared to subside.

Thai woman woke up to a rain of debris and duts and found herself rapped in her room

One of those tenants was Arunee Nungthong. She told TV reporters that she was asleep when the building began to move at 2 pm. She awoke to crash noises and a shower of dust and debris within her room. She at first tried to escape but found the door was jammed shut because of the movement of the building. Luckily, some other tenants managed to help her exit her room. The young woman seemed remarkably relaxed and composed following the ordeal.

Damage to floors and stairways in the building

At the scene, there was visible damage as the floors on the top had fallen as well as debris from the ceilings and other parts of the structure. One report said that every room in the building was cracked. The building appears to have fallen away from its position on the street and dropped nearly half a metre. Many stairways and corridors were blocked and in some cases, destroyed following the collapse. 

The relatively simple design of the structure with front doors of each room opening on to walkways allowed those in the building to make their escape, some like Arunee with the assistance of others. People later used rescue ladders to access the top flowers to retrieve their belongings.

Area cordoned off as inspectors go to work

The governor and his officials were reported to be conducting meetings at the scene with the owners of the building. The building and the area around it have now been cordoned off as officials begin a full investigation. There are several similar structures near or adjacent to the destroyed building which is of a similar design.

Mueang Chonburi is along the coast from Pattaya and is less well known to foreigners. It is the capital of Chonburi province and has a population of 180,000 people.

Homeless tenants retrieve their belongs thankful to be alive in the aftermath of the scare

The scene on Monday was one of determination as pickup trucks arrived and residents of the building worked hard to load valuable pieces of furniture including cabinets and fridges on to the trucks. Some could be seen carrying portable fans or heavy items of valuable furniture walking away from the scene. 

 A large group of people may have been left homeless but they are thankful to have their lives.

Chonburi building subsides on Monday afternoon

+ A building with sixteen one room apartments subsided in Mueang Chonburi on Monday afternoon at 2 pm. No one was injured. The Governor of Chonburi was at the scene. Morris reports from Mueang Chonburi in the Gulf coast

Posted by on Monday, July 29, 2019

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