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Careless smoker almost torches Thailand’s longest wooden bridge

A wooden bridge in Kanchanaburi, the longest of its kind in Thailand, was saved from fire on Sunday night when passers-by spotted smoke and alerted the authorities.


Two Kanchanaburi Forest Protection Foundation volunteers were crossing Uttamanusorn Bridge over the Galia River at 9.30pm and saw smoke billowing from a wooden pillar.

They called the Sangklaburi police station, whose officers arrived with soldiers and put out the fire in just 15 minutes.

Police suspect someone tossed aside a cigarette butt and it landed against the wood.

Uttamanusorn Bridge, commonly referred to as Mon Bridge, is considered a local landmark. Luangpor Uttama initiated the project that in 1986 and 1987 linked the ethnic Mon community to Tambon Wang Ka.

During floods in July 2013, a large tree swept along by the river current smashed through the bridge at the centre.

Kanchanaburi provincial administration had a private firm begin repairs, but the job was left incomplete until October the following year, when the Army’s Ninth Infantry Division helped residents finish the repairs in just 29 days.