Homeless Man Accused of Belgian Bridge Fire Arrested

Samran Muangkiew points to himself in a security camera footage that police said implicated him in the fire.

BANGKOK — A 31-year-old homeless man was arrested Thursday night on suspicion of starting a fire that damaged the Thai-Belgian bridge in downtown Bangkok last month.

Police said Samran Muangkiew threw a lit cigarette butt into a pile of garbage bins underneath the bridge on the morning of Feb. 28 which sparked a fire that ultimately damaged the bridge enough to force its closure for two and a half months. He’s been charged with arson resulting from negligence, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison.

Samran fled the scene after the fire started, but he was spotted and arrested Thursday evening at a shelter home for homeless people in eastern Bangkok, police said.

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