SATTAHIP, THAILAND: Thailand’s prime minister on Friday ordered an investigation into a massive blaze that tore through a nightclub, killing at least 14 people.
The fire broke out around 1:00 am (1800 GMT Thursday) at the Mountain B nightspot in Chonburi province’s Sattahip district, about 150 kilometres (90 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
Video footage posted by a rescue service showed desperate revellers fleeing the club screaming, their clothes ablaze, as a huge fire raged in the background.
Chalit Chotisupakarn, who escaped with burns to his arms and torso, described scenes of panic and desperation as people struggled to get out of the building.
“I couldn’t see anything, everything was dark. Everybody was shouting ‘Get out! Get out!’ We all had to try to get out,” he told reporters.
“I just pushed and pushed. There were people with fire all over their bodies.”
The Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation said 14 people were killed and around 40 injured. 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.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-O-Cha offered condolences to the victims’ families and said he had ordered a probe into the fire.
The dead — four women and 10 men — were found mostly crowded by the entrance and in the bathroom, their bodies severely burned, the service said. They were aged between 17 and 49 and all are believed to have been Thai.
“There is not death related to foreigners,” police lieutenant colonel Boonsong Yingyong of the Phlu Ta Luang police station, which oversees the area where the blaze occurred, told AFP by phone.