Disturbing videos emerged on Friday of terrified people fleeing a Thai nightclub after a fire broke out at the venue, killing at least 14 people and injuring dozens more.
Footage showed chaos as the fire broke out around 1 a.m. Friday at hotspot Mountain B in Thailand’s eastern province of Chonburi, about 111 miles east of Bangkok.
People were filmed running from the burning club while others screamed in panic.
Flames and dense plumes of black smoke could be seen from the one-story building, while shoes and bottles from the fleeing revelers littered the ground outside.
Thai police said the fire killed 14 people, including a 17-year-old clubgoer, and injured at least 38 others, 14 of them seriously. All victims have been identified as Thai nationals.
Among the dead was singer Chatchai Chuenkha, 30, who was performing with his band at the club when the fire broke out.
“My son was a breadwinner,” Chuenkha’s mother, Premjai sae Ung, said, according to the Bangkok Post. “Someone has to be held accountable for this.”
Photos released by authorities showed the bodies of victims trapped in a confined space, piled on top of each other and ravaged by the hellish inferno as they struggled in vain to escape.
Police said a number of bodies were found next to the DJ booth, which is believed to have been where there were two explosions followed by the fire. The fire spread quickly because the building was lined with highly flammable soundproofing foam, they added.
A witness named Nana told local television she was with five friends when the fire broke out at the venue.
“I saw flames above the stage, to the right. I think it was around the same time that the singer on stage saw it too and he ‘Fire!’ and threw the microphone at it,” she told PPTV. “I’ve seen many of the pub’s bouncers covered in fire.”
The club’s patron, Nattanit Pikulkaew, told CNN she was at the venue to celebrate her brother’s birthday when she heard a woman yelling that the roof was on fire.
“In no time the fire had spread to the ceiling,” she said. “I saw people trying to break the glass walls but they were too thick.”
Pikulkaev announced that her brother suffered severe burns and is in critical condition, while a friend who was with him died.
More than 20 fire engines as well as police and ambulances were deployed. According to officials, it took about three hours for the fire to be brought under control. The cause of the incident is now being investigated.
Police Colonel Boonsong Yingyong, the deputy investigator at the Phlu Ta Luang Police Station in the area, said, “The fire was difficult to control because there were flammable objects inside the building, especially sound-absorbing foam solutions.”
The inferno happened about 25 miles from the popular tourist city of Pattaya. Officials said the nightclub has only been open for a month and they are now checking that it has the correct papers.
The incident comes 13 years after pyrotechnics set off a fire at a New Year’s party at Bangkok’s crowded Santika nightclub, killing 66 people. Investigations into this fire revealed several key violations at the club and corruption.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-ocha on Friday reassured victims’ families that they would receive help from authorities and urged entertainment establishments across the country to ensure they have adequate emergency exits and security measures in place.
With post wires