NewsAsiaThailand: 13 dead in nightclub fire near Pattaya

    Thailand: 13 dead in nightclub fire near Pattaya

    The current toll also reports 41 injuries, including 14 serious.

    At least 13 people died in Thailand in the fire of a nightclub near the tourist city of Pattaya (east) on the night of Thursday to Friday, one of the deadliest disasters since 2009. A report from local relief reported 13 dead – four women and nine men – and 41 injured, 14 seriously. The deceased victims are between 17 and 49 years old.

    “There are no foreigners” among the deceased, a police official in Phlu Ta Luang sub-district told AFP.

    “It happened so fast”

    The fire broke out around 1 a.m. (6 p.m. GMT), at Mountain B, in the Sattahip district, not far from the seaside resort of Pattaya, about 180 kilometers from the capital Bangkok. The fire was contained around 4 a.m., a member of the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Foundation rescue team told AFP.

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    The presence on the walls of acoustic foam, supposed to isolate the building from outside noise, favored the spread of the fire and complicated the task of the firefighters, the rescuers said in a press release.

    A video they shared shows the building in flames, from which several people try to escape, clothes on fire, in the middle of thick black smoke. Other images released by Thai media show the charred interior of the nightclub, where tables and chairs lie on the ground.

    Several hours after the fire, the one-story building was inspected by engineers, fearing that the roof would collapse.

    One of the deceased victims is the lead singer of a band that was performing that night. A musician friend of his son who managed to escape “told me that the fire started near where he was singing. It happened so fast because of the moss”, told the media his mother Premjai Sae-Oung.

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    “We are going to have to beef up the standards”

    “I asked the relevant agencies last night to investigate and expedite compensation and support for the victims,” ​​said Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha. “We are going to have to beef up the standards for traders and the authorities, because it is an image (that of the fire, editor’s note) which is broadcast around the world”, he assured.

    Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda told reporters that Mountain B was operating as an “unlicensed” entertainment venue. Basic safety rules are frequently ignored in Thailand, a popular destination for Western and Asian visitors, which recently eased entry requirements to revive tourism, which has stalled during the coronavirus pandemic.

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    On January 1, 2009, a fire in a Bangkok nightclub, the Santika, killed 67 people, including three Singaporeans, a Japanese and a Burmese. Many Western tourists had been injured. The fire started because of fireworks set off when the rock band “Burn” was performing. The owner of the establishment had been sentenced for negligence to three years in prison, as well as the owner of the company which had installed the lights.

    In 2012, four people died in a nightclub fire in the tourist town of Phukhet (south), caused by an electrical problem.

    Source: BFM TV

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