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Thailand: 1,000 animals killed as fire rips through market

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More than 1,000 exotic animals have perished after a fire ripped through a famous market in Thailand.

Snakes, puppies and Siamese fighting fish were among the pets and other animals killed as the blaze ravaged around 1,300 sq m of stalls at the Chatuchak Weekend Market in Bangkok in the early hours of Tuesday.

Some 118 shops were destroyed and an initial inspection suggests the fire was caused by an electrical fault, police said.

It took about an hour to bring the fire under control, officials said. There are no reports of human casualties.

In grim scenes, firefighters picked through carcasses, mangled cages, and collapsed metal shop roofs.

A firefighter rescues a bird. Pic: Reuters

“I’m shock. I feel like crying, but there are no tears,” said one Siamese fighting fish shop owner Suwannee Sangdee.

She fears her small establishment has been left in ruins and all her precious fish dead.

“Now I have to think about what’s next.”

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Chatuchak Market in Chatuchak district in Bangkok, Thailand, May 27, 2018. Photo/Zdenek Polak (CTK via AP Images)
The market draws thousands of visitors each weekend. Pic: CTK via AP Images

Officials said they are still working on estimating the cost of damage, and that affected shop owners could register for compensation.

The Chatuchak market is best known for its packed shops for fashion, accessories and exotic animals and draws thousands of visitors each weekend.

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