A giant dinosaur statue located on Khon Kaen-Kalasin Road in Khon Kaen Muang district’s Phra Lab subdistrict caught fire and was completely damaged while it was being disassembled on Wednesday. There were no reports of death or injury.
Firefighters spent around 10 minutes to distinguish the flames.
The Phra Lab Municipality earlier ordered the Khon Kaen Public Works and Town Planning Department to move the statue from its current location, on the street isle, to Bueng Nong Khot lake in Ban Ped subdistrict to ensure the safety of road users and to promote tourism at the lake.
Witnesses reportedly said the fire was caused by a spark from a metal cutter as the dinosaur was being disassembled. Strong winds caused the flames to spread.
Dinosaur fossils were first discovered in Thailand during mineral exploration in Khon Kaen’s Phu Wiang area in 1976.
The Phu Wiang Dinosaur Museum was established in 2009 to display the fossils and has become one of Khon Kaen’s top tourist attractions.
Four dinosaur statutes had been built on roads leading to Khon Kaen as landmarks to welcome tourists to the “Land of Dinosaurs”.
One statute, which was previously located on Maliwan Road, was moved safely to Bueng Nong Khot lake in November 2020. The other two are located on Mittraphap Road and are yet to be relocated.