It seems like no one was prepared for the fire that broke out in Parliament Building 3 on Friday.
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Fire in parliament building sparks lunchtime panic
A fire believed to have been caused by an electrical short circuit caused a brief panic at the Parliament House complex on Friday as staff battled to contain it with old and empty extinguishers.
The fire started in a tangled web of power lines behind Parliament Building 3, next to the Building Maintenance Department building, about 12.30 pm.
The blaze spread quickly, creating fireballs and explosions, and causing panic among parliamentary staff and journalists in the building.
A group of building maintenance staff who were having lunch at the time alerted police on the premises to the danger after they heard explosions and saw flames erupting from the power lines.
Officials turned off electrical systems in the area and used fire extinguishers to try to put out the flames. However, the power lines remained energised for several minutes, making it difficult for them to attack the seat of the blaze.
The fire then spread from Building 3 to Building 2, and officials cut off all power to the parliament.
Witnesses said staff were struggling to contain the fire because there were not enough fire extinguishers, and some of them were old and empty. Staff called the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in the Samsen area and asked for help. The fire was then brought under control within 10 minutes.
An initial investigation indicated that an electrical short circuit was probably the cause of the blaze.
Officials from Samsen Electricity Authority who inspected the scene said an electrical short-circuit involving telephone lines and main power lines connecting to a pole-mounted transformer outside the parliament may have been the cause of the fire.
Some staff at the parliament told reporters that electrical short-circuits occur often on the premises.
They were worried that if there are more fires then large piles of past annual budget documents waiting to be moved out of the premises would rapidly fuel the blaze.
Parliament Building 3 houses meeting rooms for several committees, but no meetings were in progress on a Friday, as most MPs had returned to their constituencies. There is also a storage room in the building for some important documents.
spark – to make something happen ก่อให้เกิด
panic – a sudden strong feeling of fear or worry that causes you to be unable to think clearly or calmly ความตื่นตกใจ
short circuit – a failure in an electrical circuit, when electricity travels along the wrong route because of damaged wires or a fault in the connections between the wires วงจรลัด, ช็อต
complex – a large building with various connected rooms or a related group of buildings
contain – to prevent from spreading; to keep within limits จำกัด,ควบคุมไว้
(fire) extinguisher – a device which contains water or a special gas, powder or foam (= a mass of small bubbles) that is put onto a fire to stop it burning เครื่องดับเพลิง
tangled – twisted together in an untidy way ซึ่งพันกันยุ่ง
web – a complicated pattern of things that are closely connected to each other
maintenance – work that is done to keep something such as a building, machine, or piece of equipment repaired and in good condition การซ่อมบำรุง
blaze – a fire เพลิง
spread – to affect or cover a larger area แพร่กระจาย
journalist – a person who writes news stories or articles for a newspaper or magazine or broadcasts them on radio or television ผู้สื่อข่าว
alert – to tell someone in authority about a danger or problem so that they can deal with it เตือนให้ระวัง
premises – the buildings and land that a business or organisation uses ที่ดินและสิ่งปลูกสร้าง
erupt – to start suddenly ปะทุขึ้น
energised – supplied with power or energy ให้พลังงาน
seat – the main part of something ศูนย์กลาง
witness – a person who sees something happen ผู้ที่เห็นเหตุการณ์
struggle – to try hard to do something that you find very difficult พยายาม
Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation – a department within the Ministry of the Interior in charge of making preparations for disasters, warning citizens of dangers and organising relief efforts when a disaster occurs กรมป้องกันและบรรเทาสาธารณภัย
initial – early; first เบื้องต้น
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something การสอบสวน
indicate – to show that something is true, exists or will happen แสดง, ทำให้รู้
inspect – to look at something carefully ตรวจสอบ
pole – a long thin stick, or piece of wook, often used for holding or supporting something เสา, หลัก, คาน
mounted – placed on something or attached to something for display or support ซึ่งตั้งอยู่
transformer – a piece of equipment that changes the voltage of a flow of electricity หม้อแปลง
pile – objects positioned one on top of another กอง
budget – an amount of money able to be spent on something งบประมาณ
document – a paper or set of papers with written or printed information, especially of an official type เอกสาร
rapidly – happening quickly อย่างรวดเร็ว
fuel – to supply something with material that can be burnt to produce heat or power เติมเชื้อเพลิง
constituency – a district that elects its own representative to parliament เขตเลือกตั้ง
storage – the putting and keeping of things in a special place for use in the future การเก็บ
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