- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 31, 2008


BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) — At least 54 New Year’s revelers died when a fire swept through a packed nightclub in the Thai capital, police at the scene said Thursday.

Workers counting the bodies at the scene told Associated Press photographer Sakchai Lalitkanjankul that about 100 others were injured when the blaze broke out in the building, which has two stories and a basement.

Police Maj. Gen. Chokchai Deeprasertwit said the fire may have been caused by firecrackers brought into the Santika Club by guests or by sparks flying from a New Year’s countdown display on the nightclub stage.

The police officer said 53 bodies had been counted at the scene and another person died at a hospital.

He said death came through burns, smoke inhalation and injuries during the stampede to escape from the club, which had only one door for entry and exit.

The rescue workers said most of the bodies were found in the basement of the club, which attracts a well-heeled crowd of Thais and foreigners. The corpses, placed in white body bags, were laid out in rows in the parking lot in front of the club.

One of the party-goers, an Indian national residing in Thailand who gave his name as Lucky, estimated that the club was jammed with 700 to 800 people.

One local Web site about the entertainment scene in Bangkok described the club as attracting “an affluent Thai student crowd, with Euro models and Westerners also popping in” with a “whisky-sipping crowd all focused on a large stage.”

Another site says that the high ceiling and a cross in the main room makes one feel “like walking into a church.”

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide