Thailand: At least 13 dead in nightclub fire

A fire in a nightclub near the tourist city of Pattaya, southeast of Bangkok, left at least 13 dead – four women and nine men – and 41 injured, according to a report from local relief. “There are no foreigners” among the deceased, a police official in the Phlu Ta Luang sub-district told AFP.

The disaster occurred overnight from Thursday to Friday at 1 a.m. (8 p.m. Thursday in Switzerland) at Mountain B, in the district of Sattahip, a member of the rescue team told AFP. Sawang Rojanathammasathan Foundation. The fire was contained around 4 a.m., according to this source.

The presence on the walls of acoustic foam, supposed to isolate the building from outside noise, favored the spread of the fire and complicated the task of the firefighters, the rescuers said in a press release.

A video released by the rescue teams shows the building in flames from which several people are trying to escape, in the middle of thick black smoke. Other images broadcast by Thai media show the completely charred interior of the nightclub, where tables and chairs lie on the ground.

Most of the deceased victims were found near the entrance and in the toilets, their bodies bearing severe burn marks, according to rescuers.

Sad echo of a 2009 fire

Basic safety rules are frequently ignored in Thailand, a popular destination for Western and Asian tourists.

On January 1, 2009, a fire in a nightclub in Bangkok, the Santika, killed 67 people, and many Western tourists were injured.

The fire had started because of fireworks set off when the rock group Burn was performing. The owner of the establishment had been sentenced for negligence to three years in prison.

In 2012, four people died in a nightclub fire in the tourist town of Phukhet (south), caused by an electrical problem.

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