BANGKOK — A fire tore through a Thai nightclub early today killing at least 13 people and injuring 40, a rescue services official said.
The blaze broke out around 1am (2am Malaysia time) at the Mountain B nightspot in Sattahip district of Chonburi province, about 150-km south of Bangkok, an official from the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation said on condition of anonymity.
Video footage posted by the rescue service showed desperate revellers fleeing the club screaming, their clothes ablaze, as a huge fire rages in the background.
The service said the blaze was accelerated by flammable acoustic foam on the walls of the club, and it took firefighters more than three hours to bring it under control.
The dead – four women and nine men – were found mostly crowded by the entrance and in the bathroom, their bodies severely burned, the service said.
All the victims are believed to be Thai.
“There is not death related to foreigners,” said Boonsong Yingyong of the Phlu Ta Luang police station, which oversees the area where the blaze occurred.
Concerns have long been raised about Thailand’s lax approach to health and safety, particularly in its countless bars and nightclubs.
A massive inferno erupted at a New Year’s Eve party at Bangkok’s swanky Santika club in 2009, killing 67 people and injuring more than 200.
The Santika owner was jailed for three years over the blaze, which began when fireworks were let off as a rock band called Burn played on stage.
More recently, four people were killed in a fire caused by an electrical fault at a club on the holiday island of Phuket, a magnet for foreign tourists, in 2012. — AFP