Nightclub Fire Leaves 14 Dead

More than 40 injured at Thailand's Mountain B venue, which reportedly lacked authorization
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2022 8:44 AM CDT
Nightclub Fire Leaves 14 Dead
Exterior damage from a fire is seen at the Mountain B pub in the Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 100 miles southeast of Bangkok.   (AP Photo/Anuthep Cheysakron)

(Newser) – At least 14 people are dead and dozens more injured following a fire at a Thai nightclub, which reportedly had only one way for patrons to get in and out. The blaze erupted at the Mountain B nightspot in Sattahip district, about 100 miles south of Bangkok, around 1am Friday during a live music performance, per the BBC. Survivor Nattanit Pikulkaew, whose brother is in critical condition, tells CNN that a singer and keyboardist with the band Taew Waew died and a drummer is on life support. Though some bodies were found near the DJ booth, most were in bathrooms or crowded around the entrance.

Police confirmed the dead, including the youngest 17-year-old victim, to be Thai nationals, per CNN. More than 40 others were injured, including 14 seriously, per AFP. Footage showed people screaming as they fled the one-story building, "some with clothes on fire," the BBC reports. It reportedly took three hours for firefighters to get the blaze under control. Officials from the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation say the venue recently changed from a restaurant to a nightclub and may not have had the proper authorization. They also say flammable acoustic foam on the walls might have aided the fire's spread.

Pikulkaew says someone initially shouted that the roof was on fire. She says she saw stage speakers in flames and "within no time, the fire had spread to the ceiling." She adds a flood of people then jammed the nightclub entrance. A musician who performed regularly at the venue tells CNN that there was only one way for patrons to move in and out as a back door used by performers was locked during sets. "I saw people trying to break the glass walls but they were too thick," Pikulkaew tells the outlet. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha has called for an investigation while urging operators of other entertainment venues to ensure proper safety measures are in place. (Read more nightclub fire stories.)

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