Thailand nightclub fire kills at least 14 people

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Fire broke out at the Mountain B pub about 100 miles southeast of the capital Bangkok

Fourteen people were killed and dozens seriously injured when a fire broke out at a crowded music venue in eastern Thailand early on Friday, police and rescue workers said.

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At least a dozen survivors were in critical condition.

Police said the fire was reported around 12:45 a.m. local time.

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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.

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

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The Mountain B pub in Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 100 miles south-east of Bangkok, was lined with combustible soundproofing and it took firefighters two hours to extinguish the blaze, Manop Theprith of a private emergency services group told Thailand PPTV TV news .

His group said 40 people were injured.

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

“The fire started in the top right corner of the stage,” a witness, identified only as Nana, told PPTV.

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“The singer must have seen it too, so he yelled ‘fire’ and threw the mic away.”

“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.

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

“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.

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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.

What did the emergency services say?

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Thirteen people died at the scene and one other person with burns covering over 90 percent of her body later died, police, rescuers and Queen Sirikit Naval Hospital said.

The hospital said 15 patients required intubation, most with third-degree burns on more than 60 percent of their bodies.

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Two patients were transferred to a Bangkok hospital for further treatment.

“All patients are considered to be in critical condition,” said Capt Anucha Likitvong, head of the hospital’s medical team.

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“Medically, the situation for patients with burns of this degree could change significantly in the next 48 hours.”

The cause of the fire is under investigation, provincial police chief Maj-Gen Atthasit Kijjahan told PPTV.

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He said the pub’s owner and staff had given statements to police and investigators were gathering evidence.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha called on business owners and officials to ensure safety measures are in place for entertainment venues across the country, particularly in areas with large numbers of tourists arriving after coronavirus lockdown measures were eased.

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Not the first deadly nightclub fire Thailand has seen

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.

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

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

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