FOLLOWING the the fire at a crowded music pub in Sattahip district of Chonburi province in the wee hours of this morning (August 5) that killed 14 revellers and injured many others a senior police officer has now set up a committee to investigate whether any local policemen were involved in the illegal complex, INN News said this evening (August 5).
Pol. Gen. Suwat Chaengyodsuk, assistant to the National Police Chief, said after an hour-long meeting with Deputy Governor Naris Niramaiwong that Mountain B pub had got a licence to operate as a restaurant but was surreptitiously expanded and converted into an entertainment venue.
As it is possible that local policemen might be involved or turned a blind eye to the opening of this pub a committee will now launch an investigation and disciplinary action will be taken against those found negligent or directly involved.
Also being investigated is the wrong licence used to operate the pub as well as the two fire exits being closed leaving only the front door open to escape the blaze.
So far 30 eyewitnesses, including the pub owner, have been summoned for questioning with the central forensic team joining the Region 2 team in jointly examine the gutted pub.
Moreover an administrative centre has been set up to assist those injured, totaling 41, and relatives of the 14 people who died in the fire.
Meanwhile, rescuers from Sawang Rojanathamsathan Sattahip Foundation have transported the bodies of 13 people who died at the scene to the Police Hospital’s Institute of Forensic Medicine to verify their identity.
The identity of the 14th victim who died at the hospital is already known.
Mr. Sinchai Taosa, a volunteer at this foundation, said one of the victims, believed to be the male singer, tested positive for Covid-19.
Another volunteer, Mr. Wisarut Petchara, said his team reached the pub within five minutes of being alerted of the fire and saw the blaze racing through the complex amid sounds of explosion.
Pubgoers were rushing out of the venue and his team quickly helped them.
The charred remains of Mountain B pub and policemen investigating the blaze. Top photo: INN News, other photos: Naewna