Fire breaks out at Bangkok mall complex, killing 3

BANGKOK (AP) — A fire broke out at a major mall complex in Thailand's capital on Wednesday, killing at least three people and injuring seven others, officials said.

The extent of the fire at Bangkok's Central World complex, which includes a hotel and an office tower, was small, but it caused the shopping mall's evacuation, which was still going on at least an hour after the fire began.

The fire department said that the blaze had been extinguished, but that smoke still needed to be released from several floors. Firemen could be seen entering the building with masks and oxygen tanks.

Bangkok Gov. Assawin Kwanmuang told reporters that three people died, one at the scene and two at a hospital. He said at least seven others were injured.

Assawin said the fire began in a document storage room on the eighth floor of one of the high-rise buildings that is part of the complex.

Video posted on social media soon after the fire began showed a person jumping from one of the complex's buildings. Thai media reported that at least one of the people who died had jumped from a building.

Other video showed flames and thick black smoke pouring from the complex, with hundreds of evacuated shoppers filling a large open square next to the mall.

The fire broke out during Bangkok's evening rush hour. Sirens from emergency vehicles wailed as they tried to make their way through the congested city's gridlocked traffic.

Central World sits at a major intersection surrounded by shopping complexes, shrines and high-rise hotels popular with foreign tourists. It is near the main junction for Bangkok's elevated train lines, as well as the Erawan Shrine, which was the site of a deadly bombing in 2015.

The mall typically would have been busy with shoppers as well as diners headed to the many restaurants inside.

Central World was among several Bangkok buildings set on fire by arsonists during mass anti-government protests in 2010.

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