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Fire in a nightclub in Thailand kills 14 people

Fire in a nightclub in Thailand kills 14 people

At least 14 people were killed in a nightclub fire near the tourist city of Pattaya (east), Thursday night to Friday, in one of the deadliest disasters since 2009 that questions respect for safety rules.

A new report from local relief in the afternoon reported 14 deaths, after 13 were announced earlier – four women and ten men. Their ages ranged from 17 to 49, all of whom were Thai.

France Press agency

About 40 injured were also recorded, of whom more than ten were seriously injured.

The fire broke out around 1 a.m. local time in Mount Pei in Sattahip district, close to the coastal resort of Pattaya, about 180 kilometers from the capital, Bangkok.

A member of the rescue team at the Sawang Roganathamastan Foundation told AFP that the fire was contained after three hours.

France Press agency

Rescuers said in a press release that the presence of acoustic foam on the walls, which is supposed to isolate the building from outside noise, helped spread the fire and complicate the firefighters’ mission.

A video they shared shows the building in flames, as several people tried to escape, their clothes ablaze amid thick black smoke.

Other photos published by Thai media showed the charred interior of the nightclub, where tables and chairs lay on the floor.

France Press agency

Several hours after the fire, engineers searched the one-story building for fear that the roof had collapsed.

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“It felt like there was a short circuit behind the DJ, and within a minute the power went out,” said Shalit Chutisupakarn, who managed to escape.

I ran towards the entrance. I couldn’t see anything, it was all dark. Everyone was shouting “Get out, get out.” I just insisted and insisted. People are on fire,” he explained, his arm in a sling.

France Press agency

One of the deceased victims was the lead singer of a band that was performing that night.

A musician friend who survived told me, “The fire broke out near where he was singing. It happened very quickly because of the foam,” his mother, Premjay Sai Ong, told the media.

“I asked relevant agencies last night to investigate and expedite compensation and support for the victims,” ​​Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said.

He demanded tighter safety standards, highlighting the negative image of the country’s tourist attraction that the fire is sending abroad.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochenda told reporters that Mountain Bay was operating as an “unlicensed” entertainment site.

Sompong Chengduang, deputy commissioner of the Royal Thai Police, said the owner had not received approval from the authorities to set up it, which is registered as a restaurant, to be a nightclub.

Basic safety rules are often overlooked in Thailand, a popular destination for Western and Asian visitors, which recently eased entry requirements to revive tourism, which has stalled during the coronavirus pandemic.

On January 1, 2009, a fire in a nightclub in Bangkok, Santika, killed 67 people, including three Singaporeans, a Japanese and a Burmese. Many western tourists were injured.

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The fire was ignited by the fireworks that erupted while the rock band Burn was playing. The owner of the facility was sentenced to three years in prison for negligence, as was the owner of the company that installed the lights.

In 2012, four people were killed in a nightclub fire in the tourist town of Phuket (south), due to an electrical problem.