Chinese New Year Fireworks Spark Deadly Thai Blaze

Published January 24, 2012 3:45PM (EST)

BANGKOK (AP) — Fireworks set off during an official Chinese New Year celebration have sparked a blaze that burned homes, killed three people and injured others in central Thailand.

Suphanburi Governor Somsak Phureesrisak told TPBS TV by telephone the three were killed as at least 20 houses burned down late Tuesday.

Somjate Promsuntorn, head of the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office, said at least 20 people were injured. A local hospital, however, told that it had treated 57 people.

The fireworks were part of an elaborate celebration led by former Prime Minister Banharn Silpa-archa. His political machine dominates prosperous rice-growing Suphanburi province.

He told TV Channel 9 the celebration would continue but without any more fireworks.

By Salon Staff

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