Thailand pub fire kills 14, many seriously injured


Fourteen people were killed and dozens seriously injured when a fire broke out early Friday at a crowded music pub in eastern Thailand, police and rescuers said. At least a dozen survivors were in critical condition.

Videos on social media showed thick black smoke and then flames billowing from the front entrance as people tried to flee, some with their clothes on fire. Police said the fire was reported around 12:45 a.m.

The Mountain B pub in the Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 100 miles southeast of Bangkok, was lined with flammable sound insulation, and it took firefighters two hours to put out the blaze, said Manop Theprith of a private group. of emergency rescue services, to Thailand’s PPTV television. news. His group said 40 people had been injured.

Several witnesses described seeing smoke and fire on the ceiling near the stage, followed by explosions.

Thirteen people died at the scene and another person with burns over 90% of his body died later, police, rescuers and Queen Sirikit Naval Hospital said.

The hospital said 15 patients required intubation, with most suffering third-degree burns to more than 60% of their bodies. Two patients were transferred to a hospital in Bangkok for advanced treatment.

“All the patients are considered to be in critical condition,” said Captain Anucha Likitvong, head of the hospital’s medical team. “In a medical sense, the situation for patients suffering from this degree of burns may change dramatically in the next 48 hours.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation, provincial police chief Maj. Gen. Atthasit Kijjahan told PPTV. He said the pub’s owner and staff were giving statements to police and investigators were gathering evidence.

“The fire started in the upper right corner of the stage,” a witness identified only as Nana told PPTV. “The singer must have seen it too, so he yelled ‘fire’ and threw the microphone away.”

“I’m quite shocked. But I’m lucky that when I saw the fire, I was able to recover and get out of there,” she said, adding that she saw several pub security guards with their clothes on fire.

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

“I yelled ‘fire’ at customers, and I was near the doors, so I directed them outside. I kept yelling ‘fire, fire’ and the security guards were also helping to get people out,” he said.

A DJ at the pub who did not identify himself told PPTV that the fire had spread rapidly, in about a minute, when he heard the sound of an explosion, breaking windows.

Police chief Atthasit said the club had three entrances: at the front, at the side for unloading goods, and at the rear. Thai public television station TPBS reported that the back door was often locked.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha urged business operators and officials to ensure security measures are put in place for entertainment venues across the country, especially in areas with a high number of tourists arriving after measures were relaxed. to control the coronavirus.

On January 1, 2009, 66 people were killed and more than 200 injured in a fire during a New Year’s Eve celebration at the Santika nightclub in Bangkok. That fire started in the ceiling above a stage, apparently sparked by an indoor fireworks display. Toxic smoke filled the venue and contributed to the death toll as the entire club went up in flames.

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