Pyrotechnics Likely Caused Thai Club Fire

Club was ill-equipped for fire safety
By Drew Nelles,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2009 3:03 PM CST

(Newser) – Firecrackers or a pyrotechnic New Year's display are the likely culprits in last night’s Bangkok nightclub blaze that killed 61 people and injured 200, the BBC reports. Witnesses said flames shot from a stage set the ceiling on fire, which then fell onto terrified partygoers. “People were screaming for help from every window. It was a terrible sight,” one said.

Police described the club’s fire safety as substandard, with few exits and bars over some windows. Bangkok’s famous club sector is also notoriously poorly regulated. "The problem was that firecrackers were allowed to be brought inside [the nightclub], that is the issue about which we have to be more cautious and it has to be controlled more strictly," Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva said.