Thailand nightclub fire kills at least 13 people

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At least 13 people were killed and dozens more injured when a fire broke out at a crowded music venue in eastern Thailand, police and rescue workers said.

Videos circulating on social media showed people fleeing the pub as thick black smoke billowed from the door and then the entrance through which people fled suddenly burst into flames.

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Several people came out of the pub with burning clothing. Rescue workers said more than three dozen people were injured.

The cause of the fire at the Mountain B pub nightclub in Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 100 miles south-east of Bangkok, is under investigation, police said.

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Here’s everything you need to know about the fire this morning:

What did the nightclub say?

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A spokesman said the pub’s owner and staff were making statements at the police station and the forensic team was collecting evidence at the scene.

Police said the fire was reported around 12.45am (6.45am BST) on Friday.

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Several witnesses described smoke and fire from the ceiling near the venue’s stage, followed by the sound of explosions.

A police officer stands by the burned facade of Mountain B nightclub after a deadly fire broke out in Sattahip district, Thailand’s Chonburi province, August 5, 2022. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP) (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP via Getty Images)

What did witnesses say?

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“The fire started in the top 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 mic away.”

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

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

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“I was shouting ‘fire’ to the customers and I was near the doors so I pointed them out. I kept shouting ‘fire, fire’ and the security forces also helped usher people out,” she said.

What did the police say?

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Police Chief Atthasit said the club has three entrances: at the front, at the side near the checkout for unloading goods and at the back. Thai public broadcaster TPBS reported that the back door is often locked.

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

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The pub was lined with combustible soundproofing and it took firefighters two hours to put out the blaze, Manop Theprith, from a private emergency services group, told the TV station. His group said 40 people were injured.

Not the first deadly nightclub fire Thailand has seen

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One of Thailand’s deadliest fires in recent decades occurred during a 2008-2009 New Year’s Eve celebration at a nightclub in the capital Bangkok, killing 66 and injuring another 200.

The fire at Santika nightclub also started on the ceiling above a stage, apparently started by indoor fireworks.

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Toxic smoke flooded the venue as the entire club caught fire.

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