Pattaya Daily News

04 January 2009 :: 13:01:06 pm 39550

Psychiatrists to Console Relatives of Injured New Year’s Blaze Survivors

BANGKOK, Jan 4 -- Thailand's Public Health Ministry will provide psychiatrists to help console relatives of injured New Year's partygoers from a major blaze which hit a prime Bangkok entertainment venue, a senior ministry official said on Sunday.
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Institute of Emergency Medical Services secretary-general Dr. Chatree Charoentheerakul said psychiatrists would console relatives of injured patients from the inferno which hit the Santika Club on Bangkok’s Ekamai Road at about 12.30am on New Year’s Day.

The death toll from the incident reached 62 and nearly 250 partygoers were injured in the blaze.

By early Sunday, 73 injured persons remained hospitalised, with 32 of them still being treated in the intensive care units (ICUs) of various hospitals, said Dr. Chatree. EIghteen of the injured are foreigners, all in intensive care.

Patients with overf 20 per cent of of their bodies covered with burns remain in the ICU units as medical staff must provide close attention, he said.

Public Health Minister Withaya Kaewparadai is scheduled to visit patients at three hospitals on Sunday afternoon

While police are probing whether the blaze was resulted from accident, Chantra Purnariksha, Secretary-General of the Office of the Insurance Commission, said that the club’s insurance had expired last May and had not been renewed.

Mrs. Chantra advised that relatives of the dead and injured should determine if the victims carried personal insurance coverage so that claims could be taken.

If not, she advised, the government Social Security Office is able to provide compensation.

She said her office had coordinated with police and returned 20 vehicles parked at the club to their owners while three cars were left there as officials were seeking their owners. (TNA)

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Fire-disaster club owner meets police; prepares to compensate victims
 

BANGKOK, Jan 4  — As rescue workers pump out water from the basement of the fire-razed hit Santika Club, continuing to search for missing blaze victims or evidence which might be buried there, the club’s major partner presented himself to the police for the first time to give his account on the tragic incident.

Santika Club major partner Wisuth Setsawat and owner Suriya Ritrabue are among those being questioned. Mr. Wisuth Setsawat, accompanied by his attorney, met deputy national police chief Pol. Gen. Jongrak Jutanont at Thong Lor police station on Sunday.

Police Forensic Science officers and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration workers pumped out water which had douses the blaze which destroyed club — and 62 lives, so far — on Bangkok’s Ekkamai Road at about 12.30 am on New Year’s Day.

They also hoped to collect possible bodies of the missing, as yet unretrieved from the rubble and waters beneath the ruins of the club, as well as evidence which could lead to a better understanding of just what happened in the incident, personal valuables or important documents of the dead victims which might still be left underground.

A number of relatives of the dead were present to conduct religious rites, paying respect to the victims, while many others hoped they could find their missing loved ones.

The death toll from the incident has reached 62 and nearly 250 partygoers were injured in the blaze.

By early Sunday, 73 injured persons remained hospitalised, 32 still being treated in the intensive care units (ICUs) of various hospitals. Eighteen of the injured are foreigners, all in intensive care.

In another development, the major partner of the Santika Club, Wisuth Setsawat, accompanied by his attorney, met deputy national police chief Pol. Gen. Jongrak Jutanont at Thong Lor police station.

Mr. Wisuth told journalists he is quite “depressed” and had not escaped anywhere as he was also injured and received treatment at a hospital. He said he had decided to meet police investigators to display his sincerity and ready to take responsibility for the tragic incident.

Initially, Mr. Wisuth said he had compensated relatives of 11 of the dead Bt20,000 each and had collected money totaling Bt2 million from 12 other partners of the club to be distributed to the next-of-kin of the fatalities and those survivors who were injured.

A centre will be set up Monday to accept donations aimed at assisting inferno victims, Mr. Wisuth said, insisting that the incident would leave his partners and him unable to claim insurance money because their coverage had expired four months ago and they did not renew it.

Immediately after interrogating Mr. Wisuth, Gen. Jongrak said the police would file charges against the managing director of White & Brothers Co., operator of the Santika Club, for recklessness which caused others to die and for allowing under 20-year-olds as patrons.

Police initially believed that the fire resulted from special effects used by the club or from fireworks brought inside the club by customers, Gen. Jongrak said.

The authorities will also question Santika Club owner Suriya Ritrabue identified in relation to White & Brothers Co. to investigate and file charges against him. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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