Cinema fire began in a projection room
An inspection has found that the fire which ravaged the Major Cineplex Pinklao building on Thursday started in a projection room on the fourth floor, a forensics official said on Friday.
Pol Col Anurach Jitsil, chief of the forensics team at the Central Police Forensic Science Division, said yesterday that the preliminary inspection indicated the blaze first erupted in the projection room at cinema No.7 on the fourth floor where cinemas nos.1-13 were located.
The blaze quickly spread to cinema No.8 and later damaged cinema nos.1-6 while cinema nos.9-13 remained intact.
The fire also caused extensive damage to the building's roof which buckled under the heat from the blaze, Pol Col Anurach added.
The inspection was jointly conducted on Friday by police officers, forensics officials and authorities from the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA), and the Department of Public Works and Town & Country Planning (DPT).
Thaiwut Khankaew, chief of the Building Control Division of the BMA's Public Works Department (PWD), said that the cost of the damage has yet to be determined. A more detailed inspection will also be carried out by a team from the Engineering Institute of Thailand today. Authorities have yet to identify how long the maintenance will take as it depends on the building's owner, he added.
Meanwhile, Sanit Mahathavorn, the acting commissioner at the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said police have summoned about four to five people who witnessed the incident for questioning on Friday morning.
Pol Lt Gen Sanit said he believed the cause of the fire will be determined soon as he ordered relevant officers to expedite the investigation and question more witnesses including Bang Phlat district chief Kannikar Sangprasit, who said the fire may have been caused by a short circuit of an electric sign board in the building.
Also yesterday, more than 200 business operators at Major Cineplex Pinklao registered with authorities to inspect properties at their stores in the fire-ravaged building which was still declared off-limits.
One representative from each store could be accompanied by one officer before being allowed to enter the building for their own safety.
On Thursday, the blaze broke out at the 16-screen Major Cineplex Pinklao in Bang Phlat district at about 11.30am.
Firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control, with the flames being fed by the carpet flooring. The building has its own fire extinguishing system but the fire spread too rapidly.
- Major Cineplex Pinklao