BANGKOK — At least 13 people were killed and 35 injured when a fire broke out Friday morning at a nightclub in Chonburi province, eastern Thailand, a police official said.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and all victims so far have been identified as Thai nationals, police said. A separate statement from the Chonburi Emergency Service described 14 of the injuries as serious.
The fire at the Mountain B nightclub, about 180 km southeast of the capital Bangkok, started around 1 a.m. local time, Wuttipong Somjai, superintendent of a local police station, told Reuters by telephone.
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.”
The incident comes 13 years after pyrotechnics ignited a fire during a New Year’s Eve party at the crowded Santika nightclub in Bangkok, killing 66 people. Investigations into this fire revealed several key breaches at the club, official corruption and revealed lax attitudes towards safety in entertainment venues at the time.
On Friday, Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha assured the families of the victims that they would receive help from the authorities and urged the country’s entertainment venues to ensure they have emergency exits and safety measures. appropriate.