A late-night fight at a Chonburi nightclub killed 17 people and injured about 40, several of them underage teenagers.
The inferno at the Mountain B Pub on Sukhumvit Road in Sattahip District began near the ceiling, which was covered in highly flammable soundproofing foam. A rear-exit was locked, leaving only one way out the firetrap. Videos showed people fleeing the building, their bodies on fire.
Nine men and four women died in the fire, including three minors not legally allowed to be in the bar. The victims were identified only by their first names as Kornwit, 17; Promporn, 18; Watinee, 19; Warakul, 32; Somrat, 31;, Surakan, 35; Natthida, 28; Jetsadaporn, 20; Wiriya, 31, Rangsiman, 30; Chatchai, 30, Nuttakorn, 49, and Sawitta, 39.
Many of those injured suffered severe burns.
Witnesses said they heard two explosions near the DJ booth as the three-rai entertainment complex with only one entrance and saw sparks that ignited the soundproofing foam. The flames spread quickly from there.
Twenty fire engines from around the area responded to the blaze in the Plutaluang Subdistrict. Firefighters spent two hours battling the flames. Once the fire was out, they found 13 charred bodies inside, some dead from the fire, some from smoke inhalation or being trampled.
Mountain B opened only a month ago and was popular with youths in the East with management obviously paying little heed to checking ID cards to ensure everyone was over age 20.
The fire there shows how little has changed in Thailand’s nightclubs since the Santika nightclub fire in Bangkok on New Year’s Eve 2008. Sixty-six people died and more than 200 others were injured in that blaze that was supposed to prompt improved fire safety and inspection in the country’s bars, pubs and nightclubs.