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The eccentric billionaire’s $ 64 million palace burns down in Thailand

The $ 64 million eccentric billionaire’s palace burns to the ground in Thailand after he built it as a tourist attraction in 2000

  • Panya Chotitawan owns one of the largest agricultural export companies in Thailand
  • Flames ripped through the sprawling palace this morning after an ‘explosion’
  • The inferno has caused an estimated $ 13 million in damage to the palace

A billionaire’s palace worth $ 64 million burned to the ground in Thailand the first day it reopened after the corona virus was locked.

Flames ripped through the Baan Sukhawadee mansion this morning, near the tourist resort of Pattaya in eastern Thailand.

The staff of the sprawling seaside palace – chock full of priceless oriental antiques and relics – say they heard ‘an explosion’ and noticed flames ‘shortly after 10 a.m.’

The inferno flooded the top of the building as clouds of thick black smoke flew into the sky, visible for miles.

Fire trucks scrambled onto the scene, but were unable to control the spread of the fire. Firefighters continued to fight the flames more than 12 hours later, dragging through the smoke-charred remains

Fire trucks scrambled onto the scene, but were unable to control the spread of the fire. Firefighters continued to fight the flames more than 12 hours later, dragging through the smoke-charred remains

The building has been damaged in excess of $ 13 million, local media reported, and the inside has been gutted by hell

The building has been damaged in excess of $ 13 million, local media reported, and the inside has been gutted by hell

The building has been damaged in excess of $ 13 million, local media reported, and the inside has been gutted by hell

The palace was built in 2000 by Thai billionaire Dr. Panya Chotitawan (above) - who owns one of the largest frozen chicken exporters in the country

The palace was built in 2000 by Thai billionaire Dr. Panya Chotitawan (above) - who owns one of the largest frozen chicken exporters in the country

The palace was built in 2000 by Thai billionaire Dr. Panya Chotitawan (above) – who owns one of the largest frozen chicken exporters in the country

Fire trucks scrambled onto the scene, but were unable to control the spread of the fire.

Firemen still fought with the flames hours later and continue to drag through the smoke-charred remains.

District Sheriff Amnat Charoensri said there was a fear that the palace could collapse because the flames had weakened and the structure broken.

He said, “Firefighters couldn’t control the flames. They continued to spread throughout the building. It accelerated so fast. ‘

The palace was built in 2000 by Thai billionaire Dr. Panya Chotitawan – who owns one of the largest frozen chicken exporters in the country.

It is used for both Buddhist religious ceremonies and is a major tourist attraction.

Baan Sukhawadee is a major tourist attraction in Pattaya, eastern Thailand

Baan Sukhawadee is a major tourist attraction in Pattaya, eastern Thailand

Baan Sukhawadee is a major tourist attraction in Pattaya, eastern Thailand

Employees of the sprawling seaside palace - chock full of priceless oriental antiques and relics - say they heard 'an explosion' and noticed flames shortly after 10 a.m.

Employees of the sprawling seaside palace - chock full of priceless oriental antiques and relics - say they heard 'an explosion' and noticed flames shortly after 10 a.m.

Employees of the sprawling seaside palace – chock full of priceless oriental antiques and relics – say they heard ‘an explosion’ and noticed flames shortly after 10 a.m.

Police have closed the area and are waiting for the inferno to be brought under control before starting investigations

Police have closed the area and are waiting for the inferno to be brought under control before starting investigations

Police have closed the area and are waiting for the inferno to be brought under control before starting investigations

Architect Wichian Chamsai said his colleagues heard a loud explosion before the fire broke out. Wavy black plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away

Architect Wichian Chamsai said his colleagues heard a loud explosion before the fire broke out. Wavy black plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away

Architect Wichian Chamsai said his colleagues heard a loud explosion before the fire broke out. Wavy black plumes of smoke could be seen from miles away

Sukhawadee, meaning ‘paradise’, is known for its luxurious complex of European-style palaces and gardens with an abundance of religious images of Budha, and contrasting with the peaceful fishing village of Pattaya.

Architect Wichian Chamsai said his colleagues heard a loud explosion before the fire broke out.

“I was working in the building when one of my colleagues yelled at me about hearing an explosion.

‘Then I also saw a spark at the back of the building before we evacuated as quickly as possible. It sounded like an electrical problem was causing the fire. ‘

Police have closed the area and are waiting for the inferno to be brought under control before starting investigations.

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