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Eight people killed in Thailand disco fire

Press Trust of India

Bangkok, May 8, 2006

At least eight people were killed and 54 injured after a fire engulfed a disco in the Thai seaside resort town of Pattaya, police said on Monday.
The fire destroyed the Route 999 nightclub in Pattaya, 150 kilometers southeast of Bangkok, late on Sunday shortly after the disco opened and as staff were in a meeting.

"A technician was repairing the air conditioner, using a small welding torch to connect two strips of metal. But the torch accidentally fell and kept burning until the gas ran out," police Lieutenant General Jongrak Juthanon said.

The technician was among the dead. The seven others were staff members.

Police said seven of the 54 injured were in critical condition suffering from burns and smoke inhalation.

The fire destroyed the 800,000-dollar disco which opened for business four months ago after expensive sound-proofing of the building, police said.

Chonburi Police Chief Major General Anand Charoenchasri said the fire broke out at 9 p.m. Sunday at the Route 999 entertainment complex, which includes a disco, pub and go-go dancing bars.

'Luckily, at the time of the fire, customers had not yet started to arrive,' said Anand, in a telephone interview with Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa. 'Customers usually don't start coming to the place until 10 to 11 p.m.'

Anand speculated that the fire was sparked by a short circuit in the roof above the entertainment complex and spread swiftly to foam insulation in the ceiling.

'Most of the victims died from suffocation,' he said.

The dead were three men and four women.

Pattaya, 90 kilometres southeast of Bangkok, is Thailand's oldest beach resort, famed for wild night life.

 

 
 
 
   
 
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