Over 1,000 Animals Killed in Fire at Bangkok’s Popular Night Market

Chemical warehouses are seem on fire, injuring three people, at the Wenzhou Chemical Market in Wenzhou city, east China's Zhejiang province, 1 December 2014. Three people were injured, two seriously, as blasts ripped through chemical warehouses in east China's Wenzhou City on Monday (1 December 2014), authorities said. One of the two seriously injured victims suffered burns covering up to 94 percent of the body, while another had burns covering 55 percent, according to hospital sources. The fire was under control as of 5 p.m. The explosion happened at around 2 p.m. at the Wenzhou Chemical Market on Niushanbei Road. The warehouses are mostly used for storing chemicals. A tanker inside the market caught fire first and ignited the warehouses, according to market staff.

A fire that destroyed over 100 stores in Bangkok’s Chatuchak market killed around 1,000 animals. An electrical short circuit caused the fire.

So far, no people have been hurt or killed.

The pet zone has long been criticized for its unhealthy living conditions and high sickness and mortality rates; the event revived demands for its closure.

As the biggest and most famous of Thailand’s weekend markets, Chatuchak is also one of the largest in Southeast Asia. According to the attraction, around 200,000 people visit on weekends. One of the most contentious trades in the market, however, is the pet area, which is open seven days a week and occupies around four of the twenty-seven sections. Regular inspections are conducted in this market zone.

Amporn Wannasut, a store owner, was unable to save the animals despite his rapid arrival at the market upon receiving the fire alarm. A preliminary assessment indicates that the majority of the 118 stores located in the pet zone—an area of around 1,400 sq meters (15,000 sq feet)—were destroyed by the fire. A number of upset and even sobbing shop owners were waiting in line to get their petitions for compensation officially recorded.

Despite police warnings that the damaged buildings may fall at any moment, people continued to take pictures in front of the wrecked stores. According to Thaiger, an online news site, the screams of the animals in the loft above the store woke up the owner, Meecha. To get away from danger, she scaled out a window.

The animal rights organization PETA stated that the fire “underscores the urgent need for action.” They pleaded with the Thai government, asking for an end to the misery that these imprisoned animals endure.

Thai animal rights group Wildlife Friends Foundation has condemned the Chatuchak market, calling it a “shame on Bangkok” and urging the BMA to end the needless suffering of animals there.