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Bota

Fire in the well-known market, about 1000 animals are burned

Fire in the well-known market, about 1000 animals are burned

Around 1,000 animals were killed in a fire at Bangkok's famous Chatuchak open-air market early on Tuesday, burning nearly 100 shops.

Birds, dogs, cats and snakes were burned to death in their cages in the pet area, which also included rats, pythons and geckos. The fire was sparked by an electrical short circuit, authorities said, adding that no casualties or injuries were reported.

The incident prompted calls for authorities to close the pet area, which has long been criticized for the animals' poor living conditions and is said to have led to high rates of illness and death.

With tens of thousands of shops lining the narrow lanes, Chatuchak is one of Southeast Asia's largest markets.

It is also the largest and most popular of Thailand's weekend markets. It claims to attract around 200,000 tourists every Saturday and Sunday.

But the part of the market that sells pets is open all week. This makes up about four of the 27 sections at Chatuchak Market and is arguably its most controversial trade.

This market area is subject to regular controls.

"When I got here, everything was gone, everything was burnt," said Amporn Wannasut, a shop owner who rushed to the market after being alerted to the fire.

"I couldn't do anything because it was dark even inside. I couldn't help them at all. They were all gone.”

The 42-year-old sold turtles, pythons and king snakes, among other reptiles, as pets.

 

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