Thai police say 13 people were killed and 40 injured in nightclub fire

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

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

Video footage released by the emergency services showed desperate revelers fleeing the club screaming, their clothes on fire, as a huge fire raged in the background.

The department said the fire was accelerated by flammable acoustic foam on the walls of the one-story club and 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 mostly found huddled near the entrance and in the bathroom, their bodies badly burned, the service said.

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

All the victims are believed to be Thai.

“There are no deaths related to foreigners,” police Lt. Col. Boonsong Yingyong of Phlu Ta Luang police station, who oversees the area where the fire occurred, told AFP by telephone.

Witnesses reportedly said they heard two loud explosions before spotting flames covering the roof of the club. The fire then spread rapidly.

Local television footage showed people fleeing the blaze and rescuers extinguishing the flames and looking through the burned premises, with shoes and bottles strewn on the ground.

A witness named Nana told local television she was with five friends when the fire broke out at the scene.

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

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

The burnt building is now cordoned off as authorities fear it may collapse. An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

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

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