Nakhon Ratchasima hotel collapse remembered

A single block of the ill-fated Royal Plaza Hotel in Khorat remained intact after the rest of the building collapsed like a house of cards on Aug 14, 1994. (File photo)

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Local authorities organised a ceremony to commemorate the collapse of Royal Plaza Hotel which killed 137 people 25 years ago.

Educational authorities in the northeastern province, together with the teachers who survived the tragedy and relatives of the dead, gathered at Wat Phra Narai Maharat Woramaha Wihan in Muang district to give alms to Buddhist monks, make merit for the victims and listen to prayers.

The merit-making included the presentation of scholarships altogether worth 56,000 baht to 20 outstanding students. The ceremony takes place every year to make merit for the dead.

Royal Plaza Hotel collapsed at 10.12am on Friday, 13th August, 1993. It killed 137 people and injured more than 200 others, many of whom lost limbs.

Forty-seven of the dead were teachers and executives from the General Education Department who were attending a seminar. Others included both Thai and foreign visitors and hotel staff.

The collapse was blamed on a substandard structural addition to the building, which doubled the number of floors of the hotel from three to six. The Supreme Court sentenced the engineer responsible for the additional construction to life imprisonment.

The location of the hotel on Jomsurang Road remains empty. Operators tried to turn it to a market but the business failed.

Crane trucks help remove debris to enable rescue workers to reach the bottom of the pile of rubble on Aug 14, 1993. (File photo)

People involved in the hotel collapse tragedy gather at Wat Phra Narai Maharat Woramaha Wihan in Muang district, Nakhon Ratchasima, to make merit for victims of the tragedy. (Photo by Prasit Tangprasert)

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