(Mizzima) – Fire broke out at Winka village southeast of Three Pagoda Pass on the Thai-Burmese border on Tuesday. Damage was estimated at US$ 2 million.
The fire broke out during the Winka village pagoda festival, and the area was crowded with visitors. Witnesses said shop owners did not have time to carry goods from their stores.
The fired destroyed a large number of homes and shops that cater to tourists and foreign visitors. The fire is believed to have started in an electrical short circuit.
Fire engines from Sangklaburi, about two kilometres from Winka village, responded. It took about four hours to extinguish the blaze.
During Winka village’s annual pagoda festival there are boxing matches, Mon and Burmese traditional dance shows, performing arts and Thai music shows. The village specializes in tourist and ethnic items.
The village has about 1,500 houses. The area is well known for Thailand’s longest wooden bridge, and a replica of India’s Bodh Gaya temple.
Fire at Sangkhlaburi Bodh Gaya Temple causes about 70 million Baht in damages
IMNA – The row of shops of Bodh Gaya Temple in Wan-Ka Village, Sangkhlaburi Township, near Three Pagodas Pass at the Thai-Burma border caught on fire at about 8 pm Tuesday and all the shops turned into ash within half an hour.
Thirty-six shops were damaged and the damage was estimated at 70 millions Thai Baht by local authorities at the emergency meeting held in the Wi-wai-karama Monastery of Wan-Ka Village, after the fire was put out.
Valuable textiles or clothes, ethnic costumes, handicrafts, silver and bronze wares related to Buddha images, many kinds of musical instruments, art materials made of timber, ironwood and gum-kino and other small furniture made by artisans in Burma were lost.
“The cause of the fire is not known yet. The fire immediately spread and everything caught on fire within seconds. The fire engines could not reach the location in time and even people nearby couldnot help as the fire occurred suddenly,” Mon Monk, Hong Sar Raja, the Abbot of Three Pagodas Pass Monastery, who was a witness said.
The event also coincided with the second night of the traditional festival of the local Bodh Gaya Temple. The shops were closed at that time and the field where the festival was cerebrated was becoming crowded.
“This is the first fire during my 30-years in Wan-Ka Village. The row of shops caught on fire very fast, not lasting for even half an hour. That’s incredible,”the village headman of Win-Ka Village said.
The traditional festival of Wan-Ka Bodh Gaya Temple is cerebrated annually on the 5th, 6th and 7th waxing days of the Ta-Bound Month of the Burmese/Mon calendar and is crowded with Mon and Burmese traditional music and dance groups, Mon culture shows, entertainment by local students, boxing shows and Mon and Thai music bands.
Wan-Ka Village has about 1,500 houses and has mostly been inhabited by ethnic Mons who were born in Burma but have been granted documents to officially live in Thailand.