Bangkok Post, 4 June 2016
TRAT – At least one Thai tourist died on Saturday morning after a building at Siam Beach Resort in Koh Chang, Trat province, collapsed following heavy rain.
The victim was killed instantly while sleeping while another six people, including a child aged 2-3, were trapped under the debris.
The two-storey building of the hotel in Koh Chang district collapsed at 7.30am, police said.
The four-room structure was on the beach with its back against a hill. Heavy rain had caused the soil in the area to subside.
The cause of the incident could have been substandard construction, police said.
Pol Col Arwat Piboonsawat, chief of Koh Chang police, said he had asked rescue workers, local administrative officials and villagers to help with the rescue efforts.
A group of rescue workers in the province said when they reached the scene, they first tried in vain to use stretchers but cement beams were on top of the debris. They had to bring in back hoes to lift the beams first before the victims could be rescued, Thai Rath Online reported.
Photos from the scene.
Bangkok post – 5 June
Inspectors Head to Koh Chang After Deadly Collapse
TRAT – Safety inspectors will check every hotel on Koh Chang following the collapse of a building at Siam Beach Resort on Saturday which claimed the life of a Thai tourist and injured five others.
The five injured were buried in the collapse of the two-storey building and it took rescuers four hours to get them out. The dead tourist was identified as Kotchakorn Thammachak, 37.
Trat governor Channa Iemsaeng yesterday instructed district and municipal authorities to jointly inspect the safety of other buildings on the island.
If they were found to be unsafe, the hotels would be closed. Koh Chang mayor Sanya Kerdmanee had earlier briefed him on the collapse of Siam Beach Resort building which is in tambon Koh Chang Tai.
Mr Channa said an initial inspection found that the collapsed building had been built over a waterway or a swamp. During heavy downpours, the soil beneath the building gradually eroded, leading to the collapse.
Koh Chang municipality has ordered Siam Beach Resort to be closed indefinitely and declared the area a disaster zone.
Mr Sanya said the resort contained a few similar buildings to the one that collapsed and authorities would have to inspect each for safety before the premises are allowed to reopen.
A source said 75% of Koh Chang was national park and many resorts on the island were illegally built. There had been no legal inspection of them by the authorities.
The collapsed building was one of six two-storey structures constructed near a foothill.
It came down at about 7am and local police, administrative officers and rescue workers were quickly on the scene.
About 11.30am, they were able to extract all five of the people trapped in the rubble, including a three-year-old boy.
All the injured were admitted to Koh Chang Hospital.
The two men, two women and the boy were identified as Pairoj Wiriyarak, 54, Watthanat Wiriyabut, 39, Walee Sunthornsarn, 37, Joranee Pandokmai, 35, and Reeong Wiriyabut, three.
The hotel’s executives said they would cover all medical costs for the injured
Poor build linked to resort fall on Koh Chang
Bangkok Post – 8 June
A building at Siam Beach Resort on Trat’s Koh Chang which collapsed and claimed the life of a Thai tourist on Saturday was caused by soil erosion and weak foundations, the Engineering Institute of Thailand (EIT) revealed yesterday.
Speaking at a press briefing on the accident, EIT secretary-general Siriwat Chaichana said heavy downpours had eroded the soil beneath the building and unsafe foundations were the cause of the building’s collapse.
Mr Siriwat said even though the EIT could not examine the resort’s building plan due to the Koh Chang municipality losing it in a major flood several years ago, a general inspection found problems with the way it was built. Drainage ditches were not constructed to divert rainwater from the mountain despite the hotel’s position on a foothill.
The collapse was compounded by a concrete wall built at the back of the hotel which was blocking water from the mountain being absorbed by the soil and leading to a landslide, he said.
One of six two-storey structures on the Siam Beach Resort in tambon Koh Chang Tai came down on Saturday morning following heavy rain, leaving one tourist dead and four injured including a three-year-old boy.
The tourist was identified as Kotchakorn Thammachak, 37, while the two men, two women and the boy were identified as Pairoj Wiriyarak, 54, Watthanat Wiriyabut, 39, Walee Sunthornsarn, 37, Joranee Pandokmai, 35, and Reeong Wiriyabut.
The Koh Chang municipality ordered Siam Beach Resort to be closed indefinitely and has declared the area a disaster zone.
The initial inspection by municipal safety officials also found the collapsed building was built over a swamp.
Mr Siriwat said the hotel, located on slopes, was built on a concrete foundation constructed more than 10 years ago.
The operator should have reinforced its foundations to prevent the collapse, he said, adding the inspection found other buildings in the resort with similar problems.
Mr Siriwat said the hotel proprietor has promised to demolish the buildings which were found to be unsafe.
Meanwhile, Sinit Boonsit, director of the Building Control Bureau, said the resort’s construction was approved by the municipality in 2003.
The structures and their construction were designed and supervised by engineers in line with the Hotel Act, he said.