At least 13 people died in a devastating fire in a large pub on the east coast of Thailand. Around 40 people were injured in the fire on Friday night (local time) in Sattahip, eight of them seriously, the Bangkok Post newspaper reported, citing the rescue team.
Most of the victims were found in the toilet rooms and near the entrance. It was initially unclear what caused the fire. Sattahip is about 30 kilometers south of Pattaya. According to initial findings, all victims - nine men and four women - are Thais between the ages of 17 and 49, the police said. "There are no foreigner-related deaths," said police agent Boonsong Yingyong. According to the rescue workers, most of the fatalities were found near the entrance or in the toilets. The corpses were therefore badly charred.
Videos on social media show visitors trying to escape the flames at Mountain B Pub with just one open door. People with burning clothes flee into the street and scream, while in the background the whole building is ablaze. The interior of the restaurant was completely destroyed. It took firefighters more than three hours to bring the fire under control.
According to information from the newspaper "Khaosod", many guests were trapped in the building because the back exit was locked. In addition, the inside of the pub is said to have been lined with easily combustible foam panels for soundproofing. Eyewitnesses later reported hearing two explosions near the DJ booth. The restaurant had only opened a month ago and was particularly popular with young people from the surrounding area. Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on Friday ordered an investigation into the cause of the accident and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims.
The tragedy is reminiscent of the fire at the Santika Club nightclub in Bangkok on New Year's Day 2009, which killed 66 people, Thai media wrote. More than 200 were injured at the time.