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Pattaya Daily News

13 January 2009 :: 23:01:06 pm 39498

Santika Pub Owner Surrenders Over Deadly Blaze That Killed 65

BANGKOK - Today [13 January 2009} The co-owner of the Sanika Pub where 65 people were killed in a blaze early on New Year‘s Day handed himself in to police after a warrant was issued for his arrest, police said.
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Mr. Visuk Setsawat surrendered at a police station near the ill-fated Santika pub to face two charges of negligence resulting in deaths and injuries and of allowing minors to enter the establishment.

“Police have filed two charges against him,” deputy national police chief General Jongrak Jutanont told reporters, adding that Visuk, the club’s major shareholder, was being questioned.

“In normal cases bail would be 200,000 to 300,000 baht , but due to the fact that many have died or injured, police set bail at one million baht,” Jongrak added. Mr. Visuk faces up to 10 years in jail.

On Monday 12 January, police issued warrants for both Mr. Visuk Setsawat and for Suriya Ritrabue, the managing director of the company that runs the pub. Suriya remains at large.

The emergency services meanwhile updated the death toll to 65 after a Sudanese woman died in hospital on Monday. Three Singaporeans, one Japanese and a Myanmar national were also among the dead.

There were 229 people injured in the fire, 39 remain hospitalised, with 19 in intensive care units and the others in stable condition, the emergency services said.

Early police reports suggested the blaze might have been caused by a fireworks display during the countdown to 2009, or by sparklers handed out to guests to bring in the New Year.

Police officers say Santika had been refused an operating licence since 2004 because of safety concerns but remained open while appealing that decision. Police said they were still investigating the case.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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