Pattaya Daily News

01 January 2009 :: 09:01:41 am 39561

Fire at Santika Pub in Bangkok Kills 59 Clubbers

Bangkok-1st January 2009, at 00.20 am, police lieutenant Sutin Pongkumpan, Thonglor Police inspector was notified that a fire broke out at Santika Pub, located at 235/11 Soi Aekamai 9-11, Klongton, wattana, Bangkok. A police team and the fire department, with ten fire trucks, rushed to the scene of the blaze.
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The pub was a single two storey building with basement, covered 500 SQ metres , built on 4 Rai of land. The emergency workers said the rescue operation was delayed because of heavy New Year’s traffic and the large number of cars parked at the club. Officials said, there were about 1000 celebrants in the pub.

The bloodied, bruised and burned victims being dragged out of the burning pub or managing to run through the door or shattered windows. The flames racing through the entire building even as the rescue operation was going on. There were 5 exits but most of the victims tried to run through the front door.

Watcharapong Sri-saard, a firefighter said that in addition to a lack of exits, a number of staircases inside the pub as well as bars across the second-floor windows made escape difficult.

Victims died from burns, smoke inhalation and injuries during the stampede to escape from the pub. Most of the bodies were found in the basement.

Police investigated Mr. Somchai Frendy[28] a celebrant who said the pub had displayed a firework effect in front of the nightclub stage. He said that clubbers were given sparklers soon after midnight, and that as soon as the clocks signalled the beginning of 2009, the firework was set off but it was sparked straight to the ceiling which was covered by sound- prove sponge and it quickly caught fire. Mr. Somchai said someone shouted  “FIRE!” , everyone started to run, people on the second floor ran down to the first floor because there was no exit on the second floor.

The fire was brought under control within an hour.Police Gen. Jongrak Jutanont put the death toll at 59, which included an undetermined number of foreigners. He said that among the injured were nationals of Australia, Nepal, Japan and the Netherlands.

Most of the victims were confirmed dead at the club but at least one person died at a hospital and about 212 others were injured. Rescue said they believed other bodies were still inside the blaze-gutted building.

Rescue workers returned repeatedly to the pub’s basement where they believed up to 30 bodies remained in the rubble.

Most of the dead were believed to be in their 20s.

Contact urgent phone no. of the police station: 02-381-2285

The club was promoting the New Year’s party as “Goodbye Santika” night because the pub owner was planning to move to a new location since the lease on the site could not be extended.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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