Fire Destroys Stalls in Thai Border Market

A fire swept through Rong Kluea market in Thailand’s Sa Kaeo province near the Cambodian border on Tuesday night, causing more than $300,000 in damage to 20 stalls mostly owned by Cambodian vendors, a local official said.

An Vannak, head of the Poipet International Border Checkpoint office, said the market blaze broke out at about 10:25 p.m. and destroyed Cambodian-owned stalls selling mostly second-hand clothes and furniture.

“We have been informed by Thai authorities that the fire was likely caused by an electrical fault,” he said, adding that this was the second time this year that a fire had broke out in the tightly packed market.

“I am very sorry for them because the vendors work very hard and they have lost all their belongings.”

Tim Sareth, deputy director of the Cambodian-Thai border coordination office, said when his office learned of the fire at 10:30 p.m. he contacted Thai police and arranged for Cambodian vendors to be permitted to enter the site and remove any belongings they could salvage.

“This is the second time the market has been hit by a fire, and previously an electrical fault was also stated as the cause,” he added.

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