Fri, August 12, 2022

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Backdraught turned Chonburi pub blaze into deadly inferno: firefighters


A deadly Chonburi pub blaze in the early hours of Friday was intensified by so-called backdraughts as superheated gasses ignited explosively.

The blaze left 14 people dead and 41 others injured, 14 of them seriously.

Nine of the dead victims were male and four female, while the sex of the remaining fatality has yet to be identified.

Rescue workers fighting the fire at the Mountain B pub in Chonburi’s Bang Lamung district said the blaze surged after someone opened the building’s front door.

The backdraught caused flames to surge explosively, engulfing pub patrons fleeing the blaze. Video clips of the scene show people emerging from the building with their clothes on fire, resulting in severe burns to their skin.

Backdraught occurs when oxygen suddenly enters to feed an oxygen-depleted fire in a confined space.

Firefighters blamed the blaze, which began at about 1.25am, on overheating fibre-optic cables. They said that when they arrived at the scene, the inferno had engulfed the building’s roof up to a height of five metres.

Among the dead were two members of the band Taewwaew, who were performing on stage when the fire broke out. Three other band members are in intensive care with severe burns.

Backdraught turned Chonburi pub blaze into deadly inferno: firefighters

The two dead musicians were the lead singer and a keyboardist, both of whom were temporary replacements for permanent band members, said the band’s lead singer, Thanapat Puangpae.

The 24-year-old said he had missed the performance because he was ill.

“I am shocked to learn what happened. I was supposed to sing that night,” he said. “I feel bad that the singer and keyboardist died. My condolences to their families.”

He added that the band’s bassist, drummer and guitarist were being treated for severe burns.

Police say Mountain B was operating illegally without a liquor licence. Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda has ordered officials to find out what caused the fire and who is to blame.

Published : August 05, 2022