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Two confirmed dead after building collapsed into river on first day of Buddhist Lent

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Two confirmed dead after building collapsed into river on first day of Buddhist Lent

Two confirmed dead after building collapsed into river on first day of Buddhist Lent

Two people were confirmed dead today (July 17) after they got trapped under a building which slid into a river while celebrating the first day of Buddhist Lent.

Dozens of locals were packed inside the wooden temple-like structure eating lunch on the first day of the national public holiday.

But after a loud ''cracking sound'' the food pavilion slipped down the muddy bank of the Mae Klong River in Samut Songkhram, central Thailand.

Footage shows how locals had to be pulled from the water as the wooden building sank to the bottom of the powerful river.

Dozens of people were injured while four were missing.

One woman and a child were successfully rescued yesterday afternoon.

However, the dead bodies of two adults were later recovered from the river after being trapped underwater by the collapsed building.

The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said that one victim was found in the early hours of the morning and the second person at 11am this morning.

Rescue worker Chayaphol Thitisak said: ''The area will be closed because it is not safe.

Nobody will use the other building while the area is secured.

The harbour has also been closed.

''There will be an investigation into what caused the accident.

Rescuers, volunteers and police worked together to search for the missing people but they were already dead.'' One local who was inside the building told local radio there was the ''sound of wood cracking'' before the building plunged into the water.

He then said there was ''splashing and screaming''.

Another witness Pink Maeklong said: ''Everybody was eating at the time inside the building.

Then it just slid down into the water.

Many people were still inside.

They were screaming for help.'' Kriengkrai Rodkayoi, 16, survived the accident and said that he was hit by a refrigerator while trying to escape the collapsed building.

He said: ''I was eating when I heard the crack under the floor.

Some customers went out to look under the building, thinking it was just a log.

''But the whole building was suddenly collapsed into the water shortly after that.

A huge fridge was sliding down and crushed my body while I was trying to escape.'' Wisan Saengsawang, 50, travelling from Bangkok said that he was shrimp fishing nearby the scene and witnessed the shocking incident.

The fisherman said: ''I was only a few meters away from the scene.

It was very loud and I was very shocked to see the wooden building and many people running for their life.'' Millions of Thais around the country visited temples to give donations to monks to mark the first day of the Buddhist Lent, which is a national public holiday.


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