Firefighters trying to put out the fire that gutted the toy factory near Bangkok. - Gulf News Archives

Thailand fire claims more than 240 lives

1993 - More than 240 workers were feared killed when a fire swept through a toy factory on the outskirts of Bangkok, Thailand’s premier said. “Nobody knows how many people are still trapped inside, but according to authorities the number could be in the hundreds,” Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai said. Chuan said as many as 1,600 workers might have been in the four-storey building when it burst into flames. Rescue workers recovered 32 bodies and more than 400 people, many severely injured, were rushed to hospital. Assistant Police chief Chalerm Rojchatravit said some of the bodies had been found piled up before narrow escape doors. Building security man Uthai Chamnan said he heard an explosion in the basement before the building was enveloped in flames. The toll of 240, confirmed by an Interior Ministry official, would make the blaze in a Bangkok suburb the worst factory fire in history.

May 10

1796 - Napoleon defeats Austria in Battle of Lodi Bridge.

1940 - Winston Churchill forms new British government after prime minister Neville Chamberlain resigns.

1940 - Germany invades Holland, Luxembourg and Belgium.

1957 - Soviets appeal to US and Britain to halt nuclear tests.

1967 - US jets bomb power plants in North Vietnam’s port of Haiphong for first time in Vietnam War.

1981 - Francois Mitterrand is elected President of France.

1990 - India’s worst cyclone in 10 years kills 85 people.

1991 - UN peacekeepers formally declare the Iraq-Kuwait border a demilitarised zone.

1994 - Nelson Mandela sworn in as South Africa’s first black President.

1997 - An earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale hits Iran killing close to 1,000 people.

2005 - Egypt’s parliament passes a constitutional amendment allowing multi-candidate presidential elections for the first time.

2009 - A relentless hail of artillery fire in Sri Lanka’s war zone kills at least 378 civilians including more than 100 children.

2010 - A suicide bomber blows himself up in a crowd in southern city of Iraq and gunmen spray fire on security checkpoints in attacks that claim nearly 100 lives.

2014 - Thirteen workers are killed and 15 are injured when the bus they were travelling in hits a stationary truck on Emirates Road.

2016 - Ali Haidar Gilani, kidnapped son of former Pakistan prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, is freed after three years in an operation in Afghanistan.