Police on Friday called on Phuket hotel and bungalow operators to provide information on any missing guests to help in identifying victims of the discotheque fire in Phuket.
Deutsche Presse-Agentur quoted Phuket police chief Maj Gen Chainasit Wattanawalangkul as saying it was believed three of the dead were foreigners and one was Thai.
However, he was waiting for the autopsy to confirm the identities of the victims, whose bodies were badly burnt. The fire broke out on the second floor of the popular Tiger Discotheque Bar on Patong Beach at 4.40am. It was brought under control by 6 am.
Patong Hospital spokeswoman Donraya Buklarak said it was not possible to identify the dead because the bodies were too badly burned. “We will have to send them to Bangkok for autopsy,” she said.
District police Colonel Jiraphat Fuchanaphan said, “We think the fire was caused by an explosion of an electricity transformer near the club.” Patong and much of Phuket experienced frequent blackouts Friday morning due to heavy rain, which put a strain on the electricity system.
Eleven people were admitted to the hospital with two listed in a critical condition. These have been identified as French national Benjamin Tallanotte, 30, and a Thai woman.
Nine others, including three French citizens, were allowed to leave hospital after receiving treatment for minor burns. It was unclear why the nightclub was still operating after the legal closing time of 1am.
“We had stopped services at the club, but there were still people there sitting around drinking," Tiger Disco Bar manager ThamrongsakBoonlak said.
He said the club would pay full compensation for all victims of the fire.
The Tiger Disco Bar is one of the biggest nightclubs in Phuket, which is located 700 kilometres south-west of Bangkok. It has a dancefloor on the second floor and several bars on the ground floor.