A tragic nightclub fire on August 5 in Thailand’s Chonburi province has reportedly left 40 attendees injured and 15 dead.
In videos posted on social media with the hashtag #ไฟไหม้ผับชลบุรี (#ChonburiPubFire), patrons can be seen fleeing the Mountain B nightclub in Sattahip, Chonburi as an explosion rocks the venue. Panicked people can be seen fleeing, as the camera shows a person emerging from the nightclub wreathed in flames.
Thai newspaper Khaosod reported today (August 8) that 20 of the 40 who were injured are in critical condition and require intubation. Thai authorities have begun investigating the incident, and a report by Thairath on the same day indicated that the 27-year-old owner of the nightclub, known as Pongsiri Punprasong, has been taken into custody following the fire under charges of negligence leading to death and setting up an unauthorised facility.
The owner’s lawyer reportedly told the outlet that he accepted full responsibility for the incident and has apologised to the families of the victims. Pongsiri has prepared THB1,000,000 for bail, but his lawyer admitted that it would be up to the judge to grant him bail.
It was also reported that Pongsiri has already made payments of THB50,000 to the families of the deceased and THB10,000 to those who were injured in the fire.
Bundit Pradabsuk, board member of the Association of Siamese Architects under Royal Patronage, told Thai PBS World that the incident was similar to a deadly fire that broke out at the Santika Club in Bangkok’s Sukhumvit a decade ago, pointing out that in both cases, the buildings were not designed in accordance with safety regulations, with low ceilings and flammable noise absorbent materials lining the interiors.
The exits were also narrow and did not have practical fire exits, he said. Chon Buri Deputy Governor Naris Niramaiwong has said that a short circuit could have caused the fire, though authorities are yet to determine the actual cause.
Authorities visited the venue today to inspect the evidence that can be found and to take a closer look at the roof structures once the roof has been lifted to ensure the safety of the inspection team.
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