Fourteen people were killed and another 38 injured by a fire that broke out at a crowded pub in Chonburi Province Friday. The blaze started at approximately 1am at the packed Mountain B Pub, according to Thai media.
The YouTube video showed people running for safety and screaming as flames and smoke billowed from the building. Some were seen running with their bodies engulfed in flames.
Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda said the Mountain B pub in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district did not have a pub license and was built in an area where entertainment venues are prohibited.
Several building details are being examined, including the design, construction materials, control systems, and fire exits. Gen Anupong told investigators in Bangkok to identify the cause and people responsible for the fire.
Chon Buri police commander Pol Maj Gen Atthasit Kitjahan said the premises were licensed to operate as an eatery but had been illegally altered and used as an enclosed entertainment venue.
The Sattahip district chief has been transferred pending further investigations into how the pub came to be altered.
Almost all of the building had been destroyed, including its interior structure, soundproofing, stage, and ceiling tiles. On Friday morning, police attempted to inspect the building but withdrew when the fire flared up again.
Fire Began on the Roof of the Pub
He said that investigators had interviewed the pub’s staff and owner, eyewitnesses, and the electrician hired earlier to repair the building’s power system.
A fire broke out at the site, with more than 100 people inside.
According to witnesses, the fire began on the roof and quickly spread through the soundproofing foam.
According to the provincial disaster prevention and mitigation office in Chon Buri, 14 people have been killed, and 38 have been injured.
Among those who died was 30-year-old singer Chatchai Chuenkha. According to his mother, Premjai Sae Ung, he usually sings in open-air venues.
She quoted his friend as saying that her son was singing when there was an explosion behind the stage. He could not escape the flames.
“My son was the breadwinner in our family. “Someone must take responsibility for this,” she said.
On Friday afternoon, Chon Buri’s public health chief Apirat Katanyutanon said 20 of the 38 injured were seriously hurt, dependent on ventilators and suffering severe burns.
Dr. Apirat inspected the site on Friday and said 12 seriously injured people were transferred to Bangkok hospitals, including Ramathibodi, Siriraj, King Chulalongkorn Memorial and Lerdsin.