Disturbing videos emerged Friday of terrified people fleeing a Thai nightclub after a fire broke out at the site, killing at least 14 and injuring dozens more.
Footage showed chaos erupting when the fire broke out around 1:00 a.m. Friday at the Mountain B hotspot in Thailand’s eastern Chonburi province, about 111 miles east of Bangkok.
People were filmed running out of the burning club, while others screamed in panic.
Flames and clouds of thick black smoke could be seen from the one-story building, with shoes and bottles of the fleeing revelers lying on the floor outside.
Thai police said the fire killed 14 people, including a 17-year-old clubber, and injured at least 38 others, 14 of them seriously. All victims have been identified as Thai citizens.
Singer Chatchai Chuenkha, 30, who was performing with his band at the club when the fire ignited, was among the dead.
“My son was the breadwinner,” Chuenkha’s mother, Premjai sae Ung, said according to Bangkok Post. “Someone needs to be held accountable for this.”
Photos released by authorities showed the bodies of victims trapped in small spaces, piled on top of each other and ravaged by the hellish inferno as they fought in vain to escape.
Police said a number of bodies were found next to the DJ booth, which is believed to be where two explosions occurred, followed by the fire. The fire spread quickly because the building was lined with highly flammable sound-insulating foam, she added.
A witness named Nana told local TV she was with five friends when the fire broke out at the site.
“I saw flames above the stage, to the right. I think it was around the same time that the singer on stage saw it and yelled ‘fire!’ and threw the microphone at it,” she told PPTV. “I saw many of the pub’s bouncers on fire inside.”
Club patron Nattanit Pikulkaew told CNN she was at the venue celebrating her brother’s birthday when she heard a woman screaming that the roof was on fire.
“In no time, the fire had spread to the ceiling,” she says. “I saw people trying to break the glass walls, but they were too thick.”
Pikulkaew revealed that her brother suffered severe burns and is in critical condition, while a friend who was with him died.
More than 20 fire trucks, police and ambulances arrived on the scene. Officials said it took about three hours to get the blaze under control. The cause of the incident is now being investigated.
Police Colonel Boonsong Yingyong, the deputy investigator of Phlu Ta Luang Police Station in the region, said: “The fire was difficult to control because there were highly flammable objects in the building, especially sound-absorbing foam solutions.”
The inferno took place about 40 kilometers from the popular tourist town of Pattaya. Officials said the nightclub had only been open for a month and they are now investigating whether it had the proper paperwork.
The incident comes 13 years after fireworks set off a fire at a New Year’s Eve party in Bangkok’s crowded Santika nightclub, killing 66 people. Investigations into that fire revealed several significant breaches of the club and corruption.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha on Friday assured the families of the victims that they would receive help from the authorities and urged all entertainment venues across the country to ensure proper emergency exits and security measures.
With pole wires