53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

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53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by izzix » January 1, 2009, 3:15 am

Nightclub fire kills 53 in Bangkok
Wed Dec 31, 2008 7:58pm GMT



BANGKOK (Reuters) - At least 53 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in a fire which broke out in a Bangkok nightclub where revellers were celebrating the New Year, police said.

Thanat Wongsanga, deputy chief of the Thong Lor police station near the heart of the Thai capital, said the cause of the blaze had not yet been determined. No further details were available.

(Reporting by ; Writing by Ed Cropley; Editing by Darren Schuettler)

© Thomson Reuters 2008 All rights reserved.



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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by BKKSTAN » January 1, 2009, 6:03 am

NEW YEAR TRAGEDY
EKKAMAI PUB FIRE KILLS NEARLY 60

Fire at an Ekkamai pub kills at least 59 and injures scores in New Year countdown disaster
Fire broke out at popular Santika Pub in Ekkamai Soi 9 (Sukhumvit 63) Wednesday night, killing nearly 60 people celebrating the New Year countdown and injuring many others, police said.

TV Channel 7 reported that at least 59 people were killed and more than 200 injured.

TV footages showed the entire three-storey structure, which covered hundreds of squaremetres, on fire. Tearful revellers were being comforted by friends.

Firemen were alerted shortly after midnight but when they arrived at the three-story building, pandemonium was already breaking out with hundreds of people scrambling for their lives. Charity foundations' workers were trying to bring New Year celebrators out the narrow front door one by one.

A lot of people remained trapped inside the most popular pub in the area when the firemen arrived, screaming for help.

It took two hours to bring the blaze under control. Police said at least 54 people were killed and scores were injured.

It was believed hundreds were inside the popular pub. Some pub workers told police that the fire was likely caused by firework explosions which set alight the publ's interior which housed many inflammable materials.

One pub worker told reporters that the explosions were heard shortly after the New Year countdown ended. "After the explosions, someone shouted 'Fire!"," the pub worker said.

Fire started on the top floor and spread quckly, the pub worker said. The quick smoke caused immediate panic, sending people scrambling to the front door where they had come in. Most of them were unaware there were three other exits, the pub worker said.

The exact number of people injured remained unknown. Many have been sent to 14 hospitals including Ramkhamhaeng, Bangkok, Kluaynam Thai 2, Vipa-Ram hospitals.

The pub worker said up to 1,000 people could have been inside when the fire broke out.

One man, Somchai Frendi, who was inside the pub when the fire broke out, said the blaze was caused by a "special-effect" firework to usher in the New Year. It made the ceiling, which was made largely of inflammable sound-proof materials, catch fire which spread very quickly.

The fire and smoke sent people on the second floor scrambling downstairs while those on the ground floor also rushed for the door. But with most people knowing only one exit _ through which they had come in _ they crammed the space and the results were deadly.

The pub's promotion poster called the New Year Party "Goodbye Santika", apparently because the pub owner was planning to move to a new venue as the lease on the property could not be extended.

Those who died either suffered severe burns or were suffocated by smoke, police said.

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by beer monkey » January 1, 2009, 6:13 am

One man, Somchai Frendi, who was inside the pub when the fire broke out, said the blaze was caused by a "special-effect" firework to usher in the New Year. It made the ceiling, which was made largely of inflammable sound-proof materials, catch fire which spread very quickly.
Some idiots bright idea....hope they pay for their actions.
The fire and smoke sent people on the second floor scrambling downstairs while those on the ground floor also rushed for the door. But with most people knowing only one exit _ through which they had come in _ they crammed the space and the results were deadly.

The importance of brightly lit emergency/fire exits,been in similar places so i can imagine it, it must of been a hell hole.

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by beer monkey » January 1, 2009, 6:18 am

Image
The fire at the Santika Club in Soi Ekamai occurred shortly after the joyous midnight countdown, according to Pol Lt Gen Viboon Bangthamai, deputy metropolitan police commander.

'One way in, no way out'

Fireworks lit for the New Year celebration probably torched the facility’s curtain near the roof, he said.

TV Channel 7 confirmed that foreigners were

among the dead in the popular club, which consistently attracts a crowd


of Thais and visitors.

Firefighters brought the blaze under control at about 2 a.m. and retrieved most

of the bodies, he said. Fifty-three people were found dead in the club and two

died at hospitals

Deaths apparently came from direct burns from the flames, from smoke inhalation and from injuries during the stampede to escape from the engulfing fire.

Most of the bodies were found in the club's basement. Police said the hi-so club had only one door for entry and exit.

Rescue workers placed the bodies in white shrouds, in rows in the club's parking lot for possible identification and removal.
The club is located in one of Bangkok's busiest commercial districts. Most of the fatality victims were Thai, but foreigners have been identified from Australia, the Netherlands, Nepal and Japan, police said
Image

Image


Video Link 1:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-p ... 806658.stm

Video Link 2:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-p ... 806722.stm

Video 3 (extended version of vid 2 above)
*Warning some scenes in the video below are disturbing.

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One Australian has been injured in the fire but the Department of Foreign Affairs says no other Australians have been reported dead or injured at this stage.

Embassy officials in Bangkok are working with Thai authorities to determine if any more Australians have been caught up in the incident and are currently contacting hospitals in the Thai capital.

Eyewitnesses say they saw flames shooting out from the stage at the popular Santika nightclub in Bangkok shortly after midnight as hundreds of revellers were celebrating the New Year.

They say the ceiling quickly caught fire and collapsed onto people as they struggled to escape throught the front entrance which appears to have been the only way out.

According to the police, the deaths and injuries are caused by burns, smoke inhalation and being trampled by the panicking crowd.

Eye witnesses believe the fire was started by either an electrical fault or by fireworks set off by people on the dance floor.

The blaze was quickly brought under control by the fire brigade.

Fireworks of often questionable quality are used liberally to celebrate New Year in Thailand.

Andrew Jones, a teacher in Bangkok, was outside the club shortly after the fire started and says the front door was the only exit from the building.

"Some of the people were badly burnt, probably about 90 per cent burns," he said.

"It's a really bad scene here in Bangkok right now. There were about 50 to 60 people that have been killed in this incident tonight. Most of them were Thai. I'm not sure at this moment if any of them were foreigners here.

He says there was only one exit from the building.

"There were a number of people who were trapped inside the toilet," he said.

"There were no fire exits in the toilets, no exits at the rear of the building, just one main exit at the front."

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by jingjai » January 1, 2009, 9:03 am

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090101/ap_ ... tclub_fire
Dozens die in nightclub fire in Bangkok

By DENIS D. GRAY, Associated Press Writer Denis D. Gray, Associated Press Writer – 2 mins ago
Firefighter sprays water on the remains of a night club Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, AP – Firefighter sprays water on the remains of a night club Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009, in Bangkok, Thailand. …

BANGKOK, Thailand – A fire swept through a high-class nightclub jammed with several hundred New Year's revelers early Thursday, killing at least 59 people and injuring about 130, officials said.

A number of foreigners were among the casualties from the blaze that erupted shortly after midnight at the Santika Club in an entertainment district of Bangkok.

Victims died from burns, smoke inhalation and injuries during the stampede to escape from the club, which had only one door for the public, police Maj. Gen. Chokchai Deeprasertwit said. Firefighters said a door at the rear was known only to the staff, while an Associated Press reporter saw a third door at one side of the building.

Video footage of the disaster showed bloodied, bruised and burned victims being dragged out of the burning club or managing to run through the door or shattered windows. The video — provided to AP Television News by rescue workers — showed flames racing through the entire building even as the rescue operation was going on.

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.

An Associated Press photographer saw the bodies of at least 10 foreigners from the fire at the police morgue but authorities did not provide immediate identification.

Most of the victims were confirmed dead at the club but at least one person died at a hospital. Rescue workers counting bodies told AP that about 130 others were injured. They said they believed other bodies were still inside the blaze-gutted building, which has two stories and a basement.

Local press reports said as many as 200 people sustained injuries and were rushed to five city hospitals.

Chokchai said that the fire may have been caused by firecrackers brought into the Santika Club by guests or sparks flying from a New Year's countdown display on the nightclub stage.

The Web site of The Nation newspaper quoted one party-goer, Somchai Frendi, as saying the blaze was caused by fireworks that ignited the second floor ceiling, which was made largely of sound-proofing material.

The club was packed with about 1,000 celebrants, according to police officers who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

The rescue workers said most of the bodies were found in a pit area surrounding the stage. The club attracts a well-heeled crowd of Thais and foreigners. The corpses, placed in white body bags, were laid out in rows in the parking lot in front of the club, which was strewn with shoes of the victims.

The emergency workers said the rescue operation was delayed because of heavy New Year's traffic in the Ekamai entertainment district and the large number of cars parked at the club.

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

An AP reporter who peered inside the still burning building said everything in sight had been burned.

"Bodies, some of them probably alive, were falling off the stretchers as the rescue workers rushed them away. The flames were glowing through the broken glass windows. A part of the building had already collapsed," said Andrew Jones of England, who arrived at the scene shortly after the fire erupted.

One local Web site about the entertainment scene in Bangkok described the club as attracting "an affluent Thai student crowd, with Euro models and Westerners also popping in" with a "whisky-sipping crowd all focused on a large stage."

Another site says that the high ceiling and a cross in the main room makes one feel "like walking into a church."


It was not immediately known whether the club owners had adhered to the city's safety regulations, which are infrequently monitored and often loosely enforced.

Thailand, for example, passed a law in 1994 requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets, but bareheaded riders with policemen blithely looking on are a common sight on Bangkok's streets today.


Associated Press writer Christopher Blake contributed to this report

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by arjay » January 1, 2009, 10:21 am

I read on the Bangkok Post website:-
Police said the hi-so club had only one door for entry and exit.
Surely another example of a lack of safety regulations, or the enforcement of (probably inadequate) existing safety regulations.

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by 747man » January 1, 2009, 11:26 am

According to BBC News......54 Dead,and 130+ Badly Injured ( Burned ) What a SAD Start to The New Year !!!( But MORE than 1000 people inside THIS place ) Really This was ALL about GREED IMHO !!!!

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by shortimer » January 1, 2009, 12:48 pm

Arjay, I am weak on address's in Bangkok, is this place just off Sukumvit on Soi 9 or is it more down past Soi Cowboy by the Coliseum? Either way what a disaster but I could see it happening, can you imagine if this had happened at Nana Plaza with only one way in and one way out??

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by wazza » January 1, 2009, 3:43 pm

Its San Tika Club in Soi Thong Lor ( 55 )

When in BKk i reguarly go there, yes its a trap obviously, even a battle to get to the loos downstairs.

Imagine a fire in Swampy ! shops covering all the exits and a 1 metre corridoor to get people thru !!

Its about 4 times the size of CU ( ex D2 ) in Udon.

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by hxjohn » January 1, 2009, 4:35 pm

At least 59 people have been killed in a fire in a nightclub in the Thai capital, Bangkok, police say.
More than 100 others were injured in the blaze, which broke out as people celebrated the New Year. :(

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by wazza » January 1, 2009, 5:05 pm

I imagine the numbers of deaths will increase as the high 70-100% burns victims surcome to irreversible renal failure in the next 3-5 days.

Then the smoke inhalation victims also, but easier to treat with good aggresive ICU management as the majority of people will be young and have survival outcomes.

Significant burns survivors will also face infection / sepsis , as the care of these conditions require major dedicated burns units as the Australian survivors of the 2001 Bali Bombing will testify.

All burns centres on mailand Australia took these survivors in a well triaged medivac plan. i imagine last night, they went everywhere and anywhere and maybe today, they will look at transferring them around.

As said in another thread today, This is just another negative international post about Thailand which has hit the Kingdom.

RIP to all those who sadly lost their life

Pyrotechnics are dangerous and in most developed countries are regulated heavlily, with HSE and OHS standards, but inside an enclosed building defys thinking.

No doubt people will be bought to be accountable and basic Fire Regulations, pyrotechnic displays , etc will all receive knee jerk responses.

The bottom line is , there is little or no Health ,Safety and Environmental standards that are enforced by the local authorities.

Central Plaza's construction site in Khon Kaen , has a massive sign saying "Safety First" but they still wear Chinese Safety Boots on site ( flip flops )

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by mortiboy » January 1, 2009, 6:00 pm

Them poor souls!Looking at the video, had me in tears.If I was there to see them young people that died in horific circumstances,would have done me in.These firefighters do such a admirable job.They must be trumatised themselves.To think see once beautiful girls in a terrible state....well sick!
Is there God? My feelings go out to the poor parents of these young people........
Atheist

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by hxjohn » January 1, 2009, 6:18 pm

mortiboy wrote:Them poor souls!Looking at the video, had me in tears.If I was there to see them young people that died in horific circumstances,would have done me in.These firefighters do such a admirable job.They must be trumatised themselves.To think see once beautiful girls in a terrible state....well sick!
Is there God? My feelings go out to the poor parents of these young people........
Atheist
i posted the video but could not watch it all myself very sad indeed as you say mortiboy poor souls :(
bangkok and other big cities round the world are full of clubs that are death traps at busy times

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by wazza » January 1, 2009, 6:30 pm

In the video u saw scenes of some burns victims, those same victims today will have had massive swelling , increased oedema , especially around the neck and face. some will already be on ventilators having had tracheostomies done overnight.

Dont be suprised if some of the patients are transferred to regional centres to be looked after.

The Fire Fighters, EMT's , Nurses and Police were under a lot of pressure here, as the scene appeared to be out of control, bystanders and competing agencies can hinder operations. Ambulances not able to get close as no body controls access and egress.

A sad and tragic event that some people will never forget i imagine.

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by aznyron » January 1, 2009, 6:51 pm

good reminder is when entering a night club of some sort look for a exit other than the door you came in
make sure it not chained or locked some of these business lock the fire exit door fearing the help might be stealing food & booze out the back door also make sure the doors open out NOT IN other wise you get trapped in also remember smoke & heat rises so hug the floor your ears are sensors use them to let you know hot it is let all hope & pray we don't find our selfs in that situation

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by Kaiheitai » January 1, 2009, 9:24 pm

shortimer wrote:Arjay, I am weak on address's in Bangkok, is this place just off Sukumvit on Soi 9 or is it more down past Soi Cowboy by the Coliseum? Either way what a disaster but I could see it happening, can you imagine if this had happened at Nana Plaza with only one way in and one way out??
I live on Sukhmvhit 63/Ekkamai 23 and I've passed that club a dozen times since I moved to Bkk. It is down the street about 2 km opposite Ekkamai bus station... I came down to Pattaya to spend New Years with my friend and his wife and I distinctly remember seeing the sign for the show yesterday, but I thought it said "bye bye Santa, Bad Boys Night" or some such (it really said "bye bye Santika" ominous enough...). As I'm new to the neighborhood I don't know to many people yet but I hope none of the ladies from my office were there....

And speaking of dangerous fireworks I saw at least one malfunction in one of the confined sois yesterday with the roman candle bombs exploding at ground level showering nearby drinkers with loads of sparks and pretty large explosions for the proximity.... probably from the same Chinese company that made the infamous Bkk tear gas canisters...

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by izzix » January 2, 2009, 12:23 am



Thailand

Bangkok nightclub fire: British man saved by 'angel' who dragged him out
A British survivor of the Bangkok nightclub inferno described how his life was saved by an "angel" who dragged him to safety after he was overcome by the smoke.


By Thomas Bell in Bangkok and Gordon Rayner
Last Updated: 4:41PM GMT 01 Jan 2009

Thailand fire: four Britons injured as nightclub fire kills 60
A rescue worker inspects the damage at Santika Club in Bangkok Photo: REUTERS
Thailand fire: four Britons injured as nightclub fire kills 60
The bodies of victims are laid on the street. More than 60 people were killed Photo: REUTERS

Alex Wargacki, 29, lost consciousness as he and 1,000 other people scrambled for the only marked exit from a building which rapidly became a deathtrap as the flames took hold, claiming at least 61 lives.

Mr Wargacki, one of four Britons injured in the blaze, said the walls and ceilings of the Santika club caught fire with terrifying speed after a firework was set off on a stage as partygoers celebrated New Year.

He said: "Everyone started running for the door. But the door seemed tiny and people were jammed up against it. If there was another way out, none of us knew about it, and all the windows were barred.

"There were flames from the floor to the ceiling. I could hear windows cracking and breaking in the heat.

"I felt myself going unconscious. I knew something was happening to my lungs. I could not breathe. I blacked out and fell to the floor.

"I woke up and heard this voice saying. 'Come on. Come on this way'. Then I felt myself being dragged towards an exit. A crowd of people parted in front of me and then I was out in the open air.

"Had it not been for this voice with the hand of an angel I would not be alive today. The voice sounded as if he was Thai. Maybe he was one of the people at the New Year's party.

"Maybe he was a fireman. But when I get out of hospital I want to thank him for sure."

Mr Wargacki, a foreign exchange trader from Finchley, North London who has lived in Thailand for four years, is being treated for burns and smoke inhalation at the Samitivej Hospital together with fellow Briton Oliver Smart, 35, who has not yet been able to speak to doctors other than to give his name. A hospital spokesman said Mr Smart was being treated for a collapsed lung.

One unconfirmed report suggested a British teacher had died in the fire, but the Foreign Office said it had received no reports of British fatalities.

Adam Butler, 26, from Birmingham, described being trampled in the stampede for the exit.

He said: "There was a pyrotechnic that launched off the stage where a band was playing. For five seconds no one took it seriously and when everyone realised it was serious there was nowhere to run. By then the flames were already above our heads.

"I was trampled but I managed to get back to my feet. Then my leg got trapped in the crush to get up the stairs from the basement. I knew that my only way out was to go up the stairs but the crowd was being forced down. I just remember this awesome heat burning the back of my head and ears and I pulled one more time and I was able to pull my leg free."

The fourth British casualty, Steven Hall, 38, a construction engineer from South Wales who suffered burns to his back and hand, said: "At about 12.30am I saw flames billowing out across the ceiling. At first I thought it was part of the show, along with everybody else I think, but I noticed the look of terror on the people's faces on the actual stage and I instantly realised it wasn't.

"I could feel the heat almost straight away, but people weren't reacting. There was a girl behind the bar who was more concerned with getting the cash register out."

So far 28 of the dead have been named by the Thai authorities, of whom all but one were local. Other bodies will take longer to identify because of the extent to which they were burned.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... m-out.html

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by izzix » January 2, 2009, 12:28 am

Photo 1 of 3
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/ar ... PX12UoPKxg
Thai policemen and rescuers stand by the bodies of victims of a fire that ripped through a nightclub in Bangkok
Bangkok nightclub inferno kills 60 New Year revellers

18 hours ago

BANGKOK (AFP) — A fierce fire ripped through a popular nightclub in the Thai capital Bangkok early Thursday as people were celebrating New Year, killing at least 60 people and injuring 212, rescuers said.

The blaze broke out after a pyrotechnic display at the Santika club in the city's Ekkamai district, a thronging entertainment area frequented by locals and tourists. It was not clear if any foreigners were among the dead.

The two-storey club was completely gutted by the fire, with the front of the building blackened and partially collapsed, an AFP correspondent said. Around 30 charred bodies were still inside the structure hours after the inferno.

"It appears that the fire started from the area of the stage where a band was playing. There were some pyrotechnics and it appears that they started the blaze," Police Lieutenant Colonel Prawit Kantwol told AFP.

"Most of the victims died from suffocation but some were also killed in a stampede when people were trying to get out," he said.

Almost all the dead were on the ground floor, where the stage was located.

A Bangkok emergency services headquarters official said the death toll had risen to 60 after another person died in hospital, while 212 were injured. Police earlier gave a toll of 59, saying 53 were confirmed dead at the scene.

The injured were rushed to 14 hospitals around the capital suffering burns and smoke inhalation.

The club, which is popular with Bangkok's elite, has a capacity of 1,000 people but it was not clear how many were in there at the time of the blaze.

Fire brigade officials said the death toll was made worse because there were few exits from the building and because windows on the upper floors had iron bars across them.

"There was only one main way to get out from the front. People who worked there were able to escape from the back because they knew the exits but the others had no chance," senior fireman Wacharatpong Sri-Saard said at the scene.

Some victims were trapped in the basement of the club, which was accessed via a narrow stairwell, he said. The roof of the building had also collapsed during the blaze.

Police said the fire broke out between midnight and 1:00am, shortly after revellers had celebrated the passing of the New Year, but had now been extinguished.

Several dozen relatives, friends and bystanders remained outside what was left of the venue, trying to get information about loved ones from the emergency services.

Fire brigade officials and forensic police could be seen entering the club in an effort to establish exactly what had caused the fire, as the remains of charred furniture and equipment littered the ground outside.

A billboard advertising the club's New Year party with the logo "Goodbye Santika" and the names of DJs playing at the event was still displayed on the street outside hours after the blaze.

The fire was the latest in a series of deadly blazes at nightclubs around the world in recent years.

In 2003 a pyrotechnics display during a rock concert at the Station nightclub in Rhode Island in the United States set off a blaze that killed 100 people.

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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by izzix » January 2, 2009, 12:32 am


Britons hurt in Thai party fire
Two distressed women hug 1 Jan 2009
Partygoers emerged bruised and burned from the fire

Two of the four Britons injured in a fire at a Bangkok nightclub on New Year's Eve are in intensive care, Thai hospital staff have said.

Fifty-nine people died and more than 200 were injured at the Santika Club as the fire took hold and panic broke out.

Londoner Alex Wargacki, 29, is in intensive care being treated for burns, alongside another British man.

Steven Hall, of South Wales, told CNN he felt his back burning as the lights went out and he searched for an exit.

Police said the fire may have been caused by firecrackers brought into the nightclub by guests, or by sparks flying from a pyrotechnic new year countdown display.

They said most of the victims died from suffocation, but some were also killed in a stampede as partygoers tried to leave the club.

Stampede

Mr Wargacki, a British foreign exchange trader, told the Times newspaper he was lucky to be alive.

He described how he was pulled from the burning club by an unknown rescuer after collapsing as he tried to escape.

"I was actually unconscious. I was trying to get out the door, but there was black smoke everywhere, then I went down," he told the paper.

"I thought 'there's no way I'm getting out of this, I'm dead'.

"But somebody pulled me out, I don't know who."

Steve Hall

The lights went out, and at that moment, my back started burning and I was breathing in hot air

Steven Hall, injured partygoer

A spokesman at Bangkok's private Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital said Mr Wargacki was on a respirator to help him breathe, but it would be several days before they would know the scale of lung damage.

Mr Hall, also injured in the fire, told CNN some partygoers seemed to think the flames were part of the show, and stopped to watch.

"All of a sudden I saw flames billowing from the top of the stage, then along the ceiling.

"Then everybody converged towards the exit from the balconies, down the stairs area, and from the dance floor. It was a bit like a stampede.

"It did take a few moments to realise what was going on, because it seemed as though it was part of the performance.

"But looking at the performers on stage, looking at the embers and what looked like sparks falling down on to the stage, they looked totally horrified.

He said the heat was coming down from the ceiling and people were "rushing to get out".

"I tried first of all getting some people moving to get them out. I was making my way towards the exit myself.

"There was somebody lying on the floor and I was dragging them out.

"The lights went out, and at that moment, my back started burning and I was breathing in hot air."

It is understood a fourth Briton suffered minor injuries.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman confirmed four Britons were injured.

The BBC's Jonathan Head, in Bangkok, said witnesses saw flames shooting up from a stage in the club shortly after midnight, setting the ceiling alight.

They described panic among the crowd as the club was plunged into darkness, and the burning ceiling collapsed.

Our correspondent said about 30 bodies had been burned beyond recognition.


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Re: 53 dead in BKK nightclub fire

Post by izzix » January 2, 2009, 12:49 am

Updated: [January 1, 2009

FIRE AT SANTIKA PUB IN BANGKOK KILLS 59 CLUBBERS
http://www.pattayadailynews.com/shownew ... 0000008146

Bangkok-1st January 2008, 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.

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.



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