Videos show people fleeing Thai nightclub fire

Videos show people fleeing Thai nightclub fire

Disturbing videos emerged on Friday of terrified people fleeing a Thai nightclub after a fire broke out in the venue, killing at least 14 and injuring dozens more.

Footage showed chaos erupting as the fire broke out at the Mountain B hotspot in Thailand’s eastern Chonburi province, about 111 miles east of Bangkok, at around 1am on Friday.

People were filmed running out of the burning club, while others screamed in panic.

Flames and plumes of thick black smoke could be seen erupting from the one-storey building, with shoes and bottles belonging to the fleeing revelers littering the ground outside.

Thai police said the fire killed 14 people, including a 17-year-old clubber, and left at least 38 others injured, 14 of them seriously. All the victims have been identified as Thai nationals.

Singer Chatchai Chuenkha (30), who was performing with his band at the club when the fire ignited, was among the dead.

“My son was a breadwinner,” said Chuenkha’s mother, Premjai sae Ung, according to the Bangkok Post. “Someone has to be held accountable for this.”

A woman covered in flames is seen running out of the Mountain B nightclub in Thailand's eastern Chonburi province early Friday.
A woman covered in flames is seen running out of the Mountain B nightclub in Thailand’s eastern Chonburi province early Friday.
The fire broke out at the venue during a musical performance, leaving many guests trapped inside.
The fire broke out at the venue during a musical performance, leaving many guests trapped inside.
Club patrons fled in panic after the building, which had flammable soundproofing material inside, caught fire.
Club patrons fled in panic after the building, which had flammable soundproofing material inside, caught fire.

Pictures released by authorities showed the bodies of the victims trapped in small rooms, piled on top of each other and ravaged by the hellish inferno as they struggled in vain to escape.

Police said a number of bodies were found next to the DJ booth, which is believed to be where there were two explosions, followed by the fire. The fire spread quickly because the building was lined with highly flammable soundproofing foam, they added.

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

At least 38 people were injured, including serious burns.
At least 38 people were injured, including serious burns.
It took firefighters around three hours to bring the infernal fire under control.
It took firefighters around three hours to bring the infernal fire under control.

“I saw flames above the stage, on the right side. I think it was around the same time that the singer on stage saw it too and he yelled “fire!” and threw the microphone at it, she told broadcaster PPTV. “I saw many of the pub’s doormen covered in fire inside.”

Club patron Nattanit Pikulkaew told CNN that she was at the venue to celebrate her brother’s birthday when she heard a woman screaming that the roof was on fire.

“Within a short time, the fire had spread to the roof,” she said. “I saw people trying to break the glass walls, but they were too thick.”

Pikulkaew revealed that her brother suffered extensive burns and is in critical condition, while a friend who was with him died.

Charred furniture is seen inside the fire-ravaged club after Friday's incident.
Charred furniture is seen inside the fire-ravaged club after Friday’s incident.
AP
A clubber is pictured with bandages on his body after escaping the fire at the Mountain B venue.
A clubber is pictured with bandages on his body after escaping the fire at the Mountain B venue.
AFP via Getty Images

More than 20 fire engines, together with police and ambulances rushed to the scene. Officials said it took about three hours to bring the fire under control. The cause of the incident is now being investigated.

Police Colonel Boonsong Yingyong, deputy investigator at the region’s Phlu Ta Luang police station, said: “The fire was difficult to control because inside the building there were highly flammable items, especially sound-absorbing foam solutions.”

The inferno happened about 25 miles from the popular tourist town of Pattaya. Officials said the nightclub had only been open for a month and they were now looking into whether it had the proper paperwork.

The police are investigating whether the newly opened club had the right papers.
The police are investigating whether the newly opened club had the right papers.
Reuters

The incident comes 13 years after pyrotechnics started a fire at a New Year party at the crowded Santika nightclub in Bangkok, killing 66 people. Investigations into the fire found several key breaches at the club and corruption.

Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha assured the victims’ families on Friday that they would receive help from the authorities and urged entertainment venues across the country to ensure they have proper emergency exits and safety measures in place.

With postal wires

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