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The World

January 03, 1988

Thai police said a carelessly tossed cigarette or a short circuit may have caused the New Year's Day fire at Bangkok's First Hotel that killed 13 people, including one American--Daniel James Ryan, 27, of Jacksonville, Ark.--and injured scores more. A spokesman for the Hospital of Forensic Medicine also said the badly charred body of the 13th victim, originally identified by police as male, was a female of unknown nationality. Police arrested one rescue worker on a charge of theft after 14 hotel residents complained of looting after the blaze. The fire started about 4 a.m. in a second-floor room where a New Year's Eve party was still in progress.

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