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  • Pattaya Mountain B Nightclub Fire

    Pattaya Mountain Pub Fire: 15 victims dead, owner arrested, club uninsured

    In the past 24 hours, many updates have been revealed regarding the horrific and tragic fire that engulfed the roof of the Mountain B nightclub in Pattaya suburb Sattahip which has now claimed the lives of 15 victims with 38 more injured. Latest reports say that sparks lit the soundproofing foam in seconds after two loud explosions near the DJ booth, and the inferno spread quickly across the highly flammable foam. The live music stopped and people stampeded for the door. The spark may have been from overheated fibre-optic cables, initial investigations report.

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    Another Death
    One more person trapped in the nightclub fire died of his injuries yesterday, bringing the total death toll to 15 victims. The 30 year old man had been part of a group at the club that night celebrating his birthday. Two other members of the group were trapped in the fire and perished as they had reserved a table right by the stage making it difficult to get to the one accessible exit. Buddhist monks came to the burned-out pub with friends and families of those lost in the fire to perform religious rites for the dead.

    Warrants and Arrests
    Many have reported outrage at the silence of the owners of Mountain B and the top management, lambasting them for not reaching out to victims and family members of those who died in the fire. Warrants were issued by the Pattaya Provincial Court for the arrest of the owner and those involved in the fire after Sattahip district officials and Chon Buri’s Provincial Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office went on an evidence-gathering inspection to the remains of the building yesterday morning. The 28 year old owner then turned himself in at the police station where he will face charges of reckless behaviour causing death and operating a nightclub without a license. He will appear in court tomorrow and is being held without bail, though he plans on requesting a one million baht bail, citing the fact that he turned himself in so is not a flight risk. The owner vowed, through his lawyer, to provide an additional 10,000 baht compensation per person injured and 50,000 baht per person who died. His lawyer said that the owner is in mourning for the victims of the fire and in a difficult mental state. Some who escaped the fire gave statements at the Phlu Ta Luang Police station. Authorities vowed to hold every person that was responsible for the tragic fire responsible and prosecute them fully and publicly.

    Victims insured - Pub not
    Mountain B had only been open about a month before the incident and had quickly become a hotspot for young locals. The Secretary-General of the Office of Insurance Commission says that the new club did not carry any fire insurance to protect the 552 square metre building.

    “Entertainment venues are expected to be insured against fire and other damages and should also be insured for liability to third parties.”
    The OIC helps provide victims with compensation, and a makeshift centre at the Phlu Ta Luang Subdistrict Administration Office has been launched in addition to the Chon Buri Office to work with insurance companies on payouts. Anyone involved in the fire and not yet in contact is advised to call 1186 to reach the OIC hotline. Four of the victims who died in the fire had life insurance policies that will pay out a total of 4.76 million baht. An additional 14 of the 38 injured were carrying accident coverage that insures a total of nearly 13 million baht.

  • #2
    Cheap sound absorption panels believed to be cause of Mountain B fire



    Cheap and flammable sound absorption panels are thought to have caused the tragic fire at Mountain B nightclub in Sattahip district, Chon Buri province, on Thursday night. The total death toll rose to 15 after a man injured in the fire died in hospital on Saturday. Around 40 people were injured in total. The owners of Mountain B soundproofed the ceilings and walls of the nightclub with flammable sound-absorption sponges, causing the fire to rip through the venue in seconds. With 50 people inside the room and only one small exit route, several people couldn’t make it out in time.

    The tragedy could have been avoided if the owners had bought non-flammable absorption panels, which cost just 200 baht more each, according to Pinyada Jittapirak, a representative from acoustic panel distribution company Lucky Center Company Limited. The type of sound absorption panels used at Mountain B “burn as fast as paper”, said Pinyada. Pinyada said her shop no longer stocks flammable sound absorption panels. Pinyada recommends all customers to buy sound absorption panels which are flame retardant and advises customers that the right panels will come with a label indicating they are fire resistant.

    From studying the photos of the aftermath of the fire, Pinyada said the flammable panels used at Mountain B are made from a material called ovarian sponge sheet. Non-flammable sound absorption panels are made from white mineral sheet fiber or square polyester fiber sheet. Professor Weerachai Phuttahawong from the Department of Chemistry at Kasetsart University confirmed that Mountain B’s sound panels were flammable. Weerachai explain that the sound panels are made from a type of plastic polymer which generates a lot of smoke. Billowing smoke filling the nightclub made it harder for people to navigate their way out of the building. Survivors reported that they saw burning sound-absorption panels melting and falling on top of people, causing their death. A regular singer at the venue described what happened…

    “What I always hoped to never happen just happened today. I always feared playing at this pub because it had a sole, tiny exit at the far front. The door behind the stage was usually for the band and was locked immediately after everyone was in. Above everyone’s head were also lots of foam panels used to absorb sound, which were combustible. Every Monday, I always envisioned myself playing at the Santika pub, which was burnt down and killed lots of people a long time ago. I pray that everyone will be safe and sound”
    The blaze is reminiscent of the New Years Eve 2008 fire that occurred at Bangkok’s once-renowned club “Santika Pub” in Ekkamai. A total of 66 people died in the fire and 103 people were injured after fireworks were shot at the ceiling inside the venue. The court acquitted the owner of Santika Pub Wisuk Setsawat of gross negligence causing death, despite him not having signs showing the fire exits in the building and not installing enough emergency lights in according with the Building Control Act.

    Mountain B was open illegally. It was built illegally, did not possess a proper license, and was open past the hours specified by law. The venue had previously been shut down several times before and the owner was most recently arrested in July. Yet, the venue managed to open last Thursday. Mountain B’s 27 year old owner was arrested and faces charges of reckless behaviour causing death and operating a nightclub without a license. At first, all injured people were to be given 4,000 THB and 13,300 if the fire caused them to develop a disability. The families of each casualty were to be given just 29,700 THB, or double if the deceased was financially responsible for a household. However, the pub’s owner has recently said that injured people will be given an extra 10,000 THB and casualties an extra 50,000 THB. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation of Chonburi has set up a command centre at the pub to assist victims.

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    • #3
      Pattaya Mountain Pub Fire: 26 victims dead

      The Mountain B nightclub tragedy claimed a 26th victim this morning almost three months after the fire in Sattahip district, Chon Buri province, eastern Thailand, on August 5.

      A 26 year old submarine operator for the Royal Thai Navy (RTN) died at 2am after fighting for his life in hospital for 83 days. Thirteen people lost their lives on the night of the fire and many more were seriously injured. Since that fateful evening, a further 13 people succumbed to their injuries and died in hospital. The fire’s 26th victim, 26 year old Lt. Sethasak Chantra, was a submarine operator in the RTN’s 1st Frigate Fleet. He was stationed on the HTMS Rattanakosin corvette warship.

      Sethasak’s 53 year old father Pol. Lt. Yaret Chantra told the media today that his son escaped from the inferno but was seriously injured. He suffered severe burns on 70% of his body. The burned victim was taken to Queen Sirikit Hospital where he stayed for one night before being transferred to Siriraj Hospital for treatment. However, doctors found signs of infection in Sethasak’s bloodstream which he did not recover from.

      A funeral will be held for Sethasak at Wat Tha Makham in Ratchaburi province in central Thailand. Despite the police’s investigation finding evidence that the tragedy could have most likely been avoided, no one has been prosecuted or held accountable nearly three months later. Mountain B nightclub was operating without a license and was built illegally. The venue was lined with cheap, flammable sound absorption panels which caught fire in seconds and feln on people, trapping them inside the venue as it went up in flames. The building was demolished on October 17, the same day the fire’s 25th victim died in hospital.

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