The fire broke out around 1 a.m. at the Mountain B nightclub, a one-story building in Sattahip district of Chonburi province, southeast of Bangkok. and about 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of the city of Pattaya, a popular tourist destination, Thai police said.
Police Colonel Wuttipong Somjai told CNN that the fire happened during a live music show and burn injuries ranged from “slight to severe.”
All those who died were Thai nationals, he confirmed. Rescue officials said one of the dead was a 17-year-old boy, the youngest fatality identified so far.
Col. Somjai said that investigations into the cause of the fire were underway.
People could not escape
Nattanit Pikulkaew said she was at the nightclub to celebrate her brother’s birthday and was near the stage when a woman ran screaming that the roof was on fire.
Seconds later, she saw that the speakers on stage were on fire.
“Within a short time, the fire had spread to the ceiling,” she told CNN, adding that as audience members tried to leave, the entrance to the club was blocked.
“I saw people trying to break through the glass walls, but they were too thick,” she said.
Her brother suffered severe burns and is in critical condition; his friend died inside the building.
Raphon Namtham, a local musician who regularly performs at the nightclub on Monday nights, told CNN the venue opened two months ago and had become popular with locals for its live band performances, which took place nightly from 12:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. “Customers come to drink and dance,” he said.
He was not at the nightclub when the fire broke out, but said the front door was the only point of entry and exit for patrons.
Musicians entered and exited through the back door, which would be locked during performances, he said.
He added that the ceiling of the night club was lined with acoustic panels which were highly flammable.
Namtham said the group Taew Waew had been performing at the time of the fire and that its replacement singer and keyboardist were among those who died. He said the drummer was on a ventilator on life support at a nearby hospital.
Photos from a local search operation Rescue Sattahip showed badly burned seats inside the scene.
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