14 injured at Siam Paragon kids event

14 injured at Siam Paragon kids event

Children watch a Pokemon dance show at Siam Paragon in Bangkok before the stage collapsed on Saturday. (PR photo)
Children watch a Pokemon dance show at Siam Paragon in Bangkok before the stage collapsed on Saturday. (PR photo)

Fourteen people were taken to hospital yesterday after a large tent partially collapsed and stage props were sent flying during a Children’s Day dance party outside Siam Paragon.

Metropolitan Police Bureau acting chief Sanit Mahataworn said 12 children and two adults were injured when "strong winds" lifted the tent and caused its heavy steel support beams to collapse, and blew over various stage props that had been set up nearby.

"Strong wind caused the tent to fly up, about one metre. Then wooden signs attached to the back of the tent flew off and injured nearby people," he said.

The large arched tent, which covered a stage where a Pokemon-themed dance party was being held, collapsed around noon, sparking scenes of chaos as people attempted to flee.

Five victims were taken to Police General Hospital, another five to Bangkok Christian Hospital and the remaining four to Saint Louise Hospital for treatment, Pol Lt Gen Sanit added.

He said two of the injured had sustained broken legs, identifying them as Thanyalak Phongmeth, 39 and her son Chonlathee Phongmeth. "The mother was trying to protect her child from getting hurt," he said.

Ms Thanyalak said the tent began to collapse during a strong gust of wind.

“I feel good having been informed by the organising team that they will pay all medical expenses incurred for myself and my son," said Ms Thanyalak.

Investigators are collecting evidence and are considering pressing criminal negligence charges against the event organiser, Pol Lt Gen Sanit said. Potential penalties could include up to three years in prison.

A large number of children along with their parents flocked to the event yesterday, where a variety of entertainment activities were offered.

Several entertainment areas had been constructed around the main stage, most of which were also blown over.

The event organisers, who included TrueVisions Group, CMO and Siam Paragon, issued an apology, saying all of the injured had been sent to hospital immediately and that all but two had been discharged.

CMO, as the event management company, said it would ensure medical care is provided to the injured until they fully recover. A representative of the organisers said compensation would also be paid for any damages.

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