Fire at music pub in eastern Thailand kills at least 13
At least 13 people were killed and dozens injured in a fire early Friday morning at a busy music bar in eastern Thailand, police and emergency services said.
A video posted on social media shows people fleeing the pub as thick black smoke billows from the door, and then the entrance through which people flee suddenly burst into flames. Several people’s clothes were on fire when they came out of the pub. Rescuers said that more than three dozen people were injured.
The cause of the fire at the Mountain B pub in Chonburi province’s Sattahip district, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) southeast of Bangkok, is under investigation, provincial police chief Major General Atasit Kijehan told PPTV news. He said that the owner and employees of the pub are giving statements at the police station and the police forensic team is collecting evidence at the site. Police said the fire was reported around 12:45 am
Several witnesses reported seeing smoke and fire on the roof near the scene, followed by the sound of explosions.
A witness, identified only as Nana, told PPTV: “The fire started in the upper right corner of the stage. The singer must have seen it too, so he yelled ‘fire’ and threw the microphone away.”
“I’m completely shocked. But I’m lucky that when I saw the fire, I was able to pull myself together and get out.
The venue’s waiter Thanyapat Sorensowanhiran also told Thai TV reporters that he saw smoke near the stage.
I yelled “fire” to the customers, and I was near the doors, so I directed them out. I kept shouting “fire, fire” and the security guards were also helping to get people out.
Police Chief Atasit said the club has three entrances: in the front, next to the cashier for unloading goods, and in the back. Thai public television station TPBS reported that the back door was often locked.
A DJ at the pub, who did not identify himself, told PPTV that the fire had spread quickly, in about a minute, when he heard an explosion that shattered windows.
Manoop Teprit of a private emergency services group told the TV station that the pub was covered in flammable soundproofing and it took firefighters two hours to put out the blaze. His group said 40 people were injured.
One of Thailand’s deadliest fires in decades was a nightclub fire in the capital, Bangkok, on New Year’s Eve 2008-2009, in which 66 people were killed and more than 200 injured. Flames at Santika nightclub also started from the ceiling above a stage, apparently started by a firework inside the house. Toxic smoke filled the hall as the entire club caught fire.