WORD ON PHUKET: Thick smoke filled the air along Patong Beach Road this evening after a fire broke out in the basement of a hotel under construction along the popular tourist strip in Phuket.
Fire fighters in eight fire engines arrived on the scene at about 8pm to tackle the blaze but have been hampered by the thick smoke, making it difficult to access the underground area and get to the source of the fire.
Frightened tourists have been seen leaving nearby hotels and resorts with their luggage.
Latest reports are that firefighters have sealed off the area and poured water into the basement. However, smoke continues to billow from the lower floor of the hotel.
No injuries have been reported.