Unsafe shophouses collapse after residents refuse to leave

Unsafe shophouses collapse after residents refuse to leave

Pickup truck with roof caved in after shophouse collapse in Chatuchak area (Photos: Pattarapong)
Pickup truck with roof caved in after shophouse collapse in Chatuchak area (Photos: Pattarapong)

Chatuchak residents refused to leave dangerous buildings after building safety inspectors declared them unsafe to live in, finally they did collapse.


Unsafe shophouses collapse after residents refuse to leave

Online Reporters

Parts of 13 shophouses collapsed suddenly Wednesday evening, damaging several cars and motorcycles, but there were no reports of injuries. 

How long are the typical concrete-walled shophouses found all over Thailand actually  inhabitable?

This has to be a question that has passed through minds of many people.

The shophouses that collapsed on Wednesday were constructed in 1982, only 34 years ago.

Buildings with a sturdy construction such as a traditional Thai teakwood house or a western house built of wood do seem to last for a lot longer, hundreds of years in many cases.

Woman walks by shophouses with outer wall fallen off on top story (Photo: Pattarapong)


The concrete awnings and outer walls of 13 government-owned shophouses (commercial buildings) at a market in Bangkok’s Chatuchak district collapsed on Wednesday evening.

The incident occurred at about 6pm along a row of 13 old three-storey shophouses located behind the Pracha Niwet 1 market.

The concrete awnings from the structures' second and third floors fell on the vehicles parked in front of the buildings.

Car damage after shophouse collapse (Photos: Pattarapong)

Piles of concrete and other debris badly damaged some of the vehicles and also trapped people who were in some of the buildings at that time.

They were eventually rescued and authorities sealed off the whole block.

The incident also caused a power outage in the area. 

The structural foundations of the buildings are being inspected by officials from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration's (BMA's) department of public works.

The collapse was a chain-reaction with the awnings & outer walls collapsing on 13 buildings, one after another.


A prior inspection by Mahidol University found 19 groups of buildings housing 177 rooms in the area had structural problems.

The shophouses were reportedly condemned two years ago citing flood damage from 2011.

City Hall had told residents in February last year that an inspection found they were not safe.

The residents had been asked to move out several times.

Officials had sent warning notices and held meetings with residents three times urging them to vacate the buildings.

The residents refused to move out because they had lived there for a long time and had an attachment to the place.

Officials took no further action to evict the residents from the condemned buildings.

Eventually, the condemned buildings did collapse. Luckily, there was only property damage.

Building inspectors inspect the interiors of the collapsed shophouses.

Banner with "dangerous area" written on it, used to seal off the area.



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  • attachment: a strong feeling of affection for somebody/something - ความผูกพันทางอารมณ์
  • authority (noun): a person or government agency who has the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • block: the length of one side of a piece of land or group of buildings, from the place where one street crosses it to the next - เขตหนึ่งของตัวเมือง
  • case: a particular situation or a situation of a particular type - กรณี, เหตุการณ์, สถานการณ์
  • citing: mentioning as a reason - ให้ อ้างอิงเหตุผล
  • City Hall: a city government - ศาลาว่าการกรุงเทพ
  • collapse: falling down suddenly - การพังลงมา  
  • collapsed: fell down suddenly - ล้ม ทิ้งตัวลง
  • commercial: for business purposes - เกี่ยวกับการค้า
  • concrete: a hard substance used in building made by mixing cement, sand, small stones, and water - คอนกรีต
  • condemned (adj): (of a building) required to be demolished (taken down or destroyed) -
  • construct: building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - ก่อสร้าง
  • construction: the work of building or making something, especially buildings, bridges, etc. - การก่อสร้าง
  • damage (verb): to harm or spoil something/somebody - ทำความเสียหาย
  • damaged (adj): having received physical harm makes something less attractive, useful or valuable - ได้รับความเสียหาย
  • debris: broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed - เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย
  • district (noun): an area of a country, town or province, especially one that has particular features - เขต, อำเภอ, บริเวณ, แขวง
  • eventually: at the end of a period of time or at the end of a process - ในที่สุด
  • evict: to force someone to leave a building or place where they have been living or working - ขับไล่ออกจากพื้นที่   ไล่ที่
  • foundation: supporting structure - รากฐาน
  • incident: something that happens, usually something bad - เหตุการณ์
  • injury (noun): physical damage done to a person or a part of their body - อาการบาดเจ็บ
  • inspect: to look at something carefully - ตรวจสอบ, ตรวจสอบอย่างละเอียด
  • inspection: an official process of checking that things are in the correct condition or that people are doing what they should - การตรวจสอบตรวจตรา
  • located: where something is - ตั้งอยู่
  • mind: the part of a person that makes them able to be aware of things, to think and to feel; your ability to think and reason; your intelligence; the particular way that somebody thinks - สติปัญญา, จิตใจ, ความรู้สึกนึกคิด
  • notice: information or warning - หมายเตือน
  • occurred (verb): happened - เกิดขึ้น
  • officials: people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law - เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
  • pile: to put objects one on top of another; objects positioned one on top of another - กอง
  • prior: before - ก่อนหน้า
  • property: a building or buildings and the surrounding land - อสังหาริมทรัพย์
  • public works: building projects such as schools, roads, and railways that are built and paid for by the government - การโยธาสาธารณะ, สิ่งก่อสร้าง (ถนนหนทาง,เขื่อนที่ทำการไปรษณีย์และอื่น ๆ) ที่เป็นสาธารณูปโภค
  • refuse (verb): to say or show that you will not do something; to say or show that you will not do something that someone has asked you to do - ปฏิเสธ
  • report (verb): to tell someone officially that something exists or happened - รายงาน
  • rescue: saving a person or animal from a dangerous or unpleasant situation - การช่วยชีวิต
  • resident: a person who lives in a particular area - ผู้ที่อาศัยในท้องที่
  • sealed off: to prevent people from entering or leaving an area or building - ปิด ห้ามไม่ให้เข้า
  • structural (adjective): having to do with structures such as buildings, bridges and roads - เกี่ยวกับโครงสร้าง
  • sturdy: physically strong and solid or thick, and therefore unlikely to break or be hurt - แข็งแกร่ง
  • suddenly (adverb): quickly and unexpectedly - อย่างกะทันหัน
  • teakwood (noun): the strong hard wood of a tall Asian tree, used especially for making furniture - ไม้สัก
  • traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา
  • trapped : to be unable to leave a place - ถูกกับดัก
  • typical: having the usual qualities or features of a particular type of person, thing or group - เป็นแบบฉบับ, เป็นสัญลักษณ์
  • urge: to advise someone very strongly about what action or attitude they should take - ผลักดัน, กระตุ้น
  • vacate: to leave a place - ออกจาก, ออกไปจาก, ย้ายออก
  • warning: an action or statement telling someone of a possible problem or danger - การเตือน
  • whole (adjective): all of something - ทั้งหมด
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