He himself survived minor burns, but Shalit Chutisupakarn saw others who suffered worse.
– I couldn’t see anything, it was all black.
– I just pressed and pressed. Some had flames all over their bodies.
The fire broke out at about 1 am local time in the nightclub in Sattahip, a small seaside resort south of Pattaya.
A video posted by local emergency services shows screaming patrons fleeing the club in panic, their clothes on fire and the heavy fire directly behind them.
It is said that the walls of the nightclub were covered with so-called sound-absorbing foam, which accelerated the spread of the flames. The firefighters did not control the fire until three hours after it broke out.
The dead, four women and nine men, were found badly burned around the entrance and next to the toilets.
Police say all the victims are believed to be Thais.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha sends his condolences, and has ordered an investigation into the incident.
The lax approach to health and safety regulations in Thailand has long been a concern.
On New Year’s Eve 2009, Bangkok’s luxury club Santika turned into a fiery inferno that claimed 67 lives and injured more than 200 others.
The owner was sentenced to three years in prison for the fire, which broke out after fireworks erupted during a rock band performance.
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