Thailand nightclub fire kills at least 13 and injures dozens
AT least 13 people were killed and 41 others injured after a fire swept through a nightclub in Chonburi province in south-eastern Thailand, reports the BBC.
The fire broke out at 1:00 local time on Friday (18:00 GMT Thursday) at the Mountain B nightspot in Sattahip district, said police.
Footage circulating online showed people fleeing the club screaming, some with their clothes alight.
Rescuers say flammable material on the walls may have exacerbated the blaze.
The venue in Chonburi, a province located 150km (90mi) south of Bangkok, was a single-storey complex measuring 4,800 square metres.
Firefighters battled for more than two hours to bring the fire under control, said local reports.
Bodies of the dead, four of whom were women and nine of which were men, were mostly found near the entrance and in the bathrooms. Others were found near the DJ booth.
All the victims so far are believed to be Thai nationals.
The exact cause of the fire has yet to be determined, though officials from the Sawang Rojanathammasathan Rescue Foundation said flammable acoustic foam on the clubs' walls might have accelerated the speed at which the fire tore through the venue.
Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Friday that families of victims would receive aid from authorities and urged entertainment venues nationwide to ensure they had proper emergency exits and safety measures in place.
This is not the first time a fire has broken out in a Thai nightclub.
In 2009, more than 60 people died in Bangkok after a fire broke out at the Santika Club in the early hours of New Year's Day. Two men, including the owner of the club, were jailed in 2011.
A fire at a nightclub in the popular Thai tourist destination of Phuket in 2012 killed four people and injured about a dozen others.