Nightclub fire deaths rise to 16

Nightclub fire deaths rise to 16

A police officer stands outside the Mountain B nightclub following the deadly blaze on Aug 5. REUTERS
A police officer stands outside the Mountain B nightclub following the deadly blaze on Aug 5. REUTERS

Another Mountain B pub fire victim has died in hospital, bringing the death toll to 16, the Chon Buri Provincial Public Health Office said yesterday.

Sittichai Ouilert, a 23-year-old sailor on the frigate HTMS Naresuan, died on Tuesday at Chon Buri Hospital, the Office said in an FB post yesterday.

The fire that tore through the pub on Aug 5 has now left 16 people dead and 55 injured. The Public Health Office also said that 30 of the injured remain in hospital, 16 of whom are still in critical condition.

Meanwhile, Pol Col Virut Sirisawatdibut, secretary of the Institute for Justice Reform (IJR), told a seminar at the Mandarin Hotel in Bangkok yesterday that regional public administration has to be reformed to avoid a repeat of the disaster in other entertainment venues.

"In the Mountain B pub case, it was an unlicensed pub. If police said that they were not aware of its status, they are incompetent," he said.

"Unlicensed pubs and bars are everywhere and without this fire, nobody would have found out it was operating illegally," he said.

Somchai Armeen, president of the Legal Right and Environmental Protection Association (LEPA), said the Department of Juvenile Observation and Protection (DJOP) should monitor entertainment venues that allow people under 20 to enter. Some underage drinkers were found to have entered Mountain B.

He said survivors of the Mountain B fire should sue the owners for having operated illegally.

He added that public officials who turned a blind eye to the pub breaking the law should be punished.

He suggested introducing a law making it compulsory for nightspot owners to have a compensation fund in case of accidents injuring their customers.

In addition, law enforcement by provincial authorities must be thorough and transparent, especially regarding venue inspections to boost people's safety.

The Foundation for Consumers (FFC) welcomes all requests and inquiries from Mountain B pub victims.

Anyone who needs aid or compensation can contact the foundation by telephone -- 02-248-3734-7 -- or Line Application ID @consumerthai.

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