Thai police say 13 people killed, 40 injured in night club fire

BANGKOK (AFP, REUTERS, THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) – A fire tore through a Thai nightclub early Friday (Aug 5), killing at least 13 people and injuring 40, a rescue services official said.

The blaze broke out around 1am local time (2am in Singapore) at the Mountain B night club in Chonburi province’s Sattahip district, about 150km south of the capital Bangkok, an official from the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Video footage posted by the rescue service showed desperate revellers fleeing the club screaming, their clothes ablaze, as a huge fire raged in the background.

The service said the blaze was accelerated by flammable acoustic foam on the walls of the single-storey club, and it took firefighters more than three hours to bring it under control. More than 20 fire engines were dispatched to the scene.

The dead – four women and nine men – were found mostly crowded by the entrance and in the bathroom, their bodies severely burnt, the service said.

A separate statement from the Chonburi emergency service described 14 of the injuries as severe.

All the victims are believed to be Thai.

“There is no death related to foreigners,” police lieutenant-colonel Boonsong Yingyong of the Phlu Ta Luang police station, which oversees the area where the blaze occurred, told AFP by phone.

Witnesses reportedly said they heard two loud explosions before they spotted flames covering the club’s roof. The fire then quickly spread.

Local TV footage showed people fleeing the fire and emergency workers putting out flames and looking through the burnt-out premises, with shoes and bottles strewn across the ground.

A witness who went by the name Nana told local TV that she was with five friends when the fire broke out at the venue.

“I saw flames above the stage, on the right side. I think it was about the same time at the singer on stage saw it too and he shouted ‘fire!’ and threw the mic at it,” she told broadcaster PPTV.

“I saw a lot of the pub’s bouncers covered in fire inside,” she said.

The burnt building is now cordoned off as officials fear it may collapse. Investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.

The club opened just a month ago and quickly became popular among young people in Sattahip.