At least 13 killed, dozens injured after fire engulfs Thai nightclub

·3-min read

At least 13 people have been killed and 35 injured when a fire broke out at a nightclub in Thailand's eastern Chonburi province.

The cause of the fire early on Friday is still unknown and all victims so far have been identified as Thai nationals, police said.

A separate statement from the Chonburi emergency service described 14 of the injuries as severe.

The fire at the Mountain B nightclub, about 180 kilometres southeast of the capital Bangkok, started at about 1am local time, Wuttipong Somjai, a superintendent at a local police station, told Reuters by phone.

Footage of people fleeing the Thailand nightclub and it's charred remains.
Footage shows people fleeing the Thailand nightclub while thick black smoke billows from the door. Source: Thai Enquirer/Facebook

Local TV footage showed people fleeing the fire and emergency workers putting out flames and looking through the burnt-out premises, with shoes and bottles strewn across the ground.

Several people’s clothing was on fire as they emerged from the pub.

Witnesses see smoke, hear explosions

Witnesses described seeing smoke and fire on the ceiling near the venue’s stage followed by the sound of explosions.

A woman who went by the name Nana told local TV she was with five friends when the fire broke out at the venue.

"I saw flames above the stage, on the right side. I think it was about the same time the singer on stage saw it too and he shouted 'fire!' and threw the mic at it," she told broadcaster PPTV.

"I saw a lot of the pub's bouncers covered in fire inside."

A waitress at the venue, Thanyapat Sornsuwanhiran, also told Thai television reporters that she saw smoke near the stage.

"I shouted ‘fire’ to customers, and I was near the doors, so I directed them out. I kept shouting ‘fire, fire’ and the security guards were also helping lead people out," she said.

Nightclub lined with flammable soundproofing

Provincial police chief Major General Atthasit Kijjahan told PPTV the club had three entrances: at the front, on the side near the cashier for unloading goods, and at the back. Thai public television station TPBS reported that the back door is often locked.

The pub was lined with flammable soundproofing, and it took two hours for firefighters to put out the blaze, Manop Theprith from a private emergency services group told PPTV.

The incident comes 13 years after pyrotechnics started a blaze at a New Year's party at the crowded Santika night club in Bangkok, killing 66 people.

Investigations into that fire found several key breaches at the club, official corruption and revealed lax attitudes towards safety at entertainment venues at the time.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday assured victims' families they would receive help from authorities and urged entertainment venues nationwide to ensure they have proper emergency exits and safety measures in place.

Reuters and AP

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