THE lead singer-keyboard player at Mountain B pub where an inferno at 1 a.m. yesterday (August 5) killed 15 people and injured 37 others revealed that the backstage entrance was always locked to prevent customers from sneaking away without paying, Matichon newspaper said this afternoon.
Mr. Thanaphat Phuangpae, 24, or Peach, of Taew Waew band, brought flowers to the burnt pub to mourn for Mr. Chatchai Chuenkha, or Im, another lead singer, and Mr. Rangsiman Wanichrotchana, or Win, a keyboardist, who died in the blaze.
He said the flowers were also meant to pay tribute to Chatchai, who stood in for him that night, and keyboardist Rangsiman, as he did not know this disaster would happen and also wanted to cheer up three other musicians now recovering from their injuries.
He added that as he played at this pub every Thursday night he was familiar with the backstage entrance. There were two doors there, a white one and after passing through that people had to go through a glass door.
While he did not know whether the two doors were locked when the fire broke out, he mentioned that everytime he had to go through this entrance he had to ask the guard to open them for him because they were always locked.
They were not left open even to allow the musicians to go out and relax or smoke a cigarette. The musicians had all agreed that they should only use one entrance, especially those standing in for musicians playing permanently at the pub.
Thanaphat admitted that he never worried about a fire breaking out, only about how the musicians would flee if pubgoers started brawling as happened a few months ago.
He was also not sure whether the pub management had checked the safety of electronic devices as a few months ago he did get whiffs of something burning on stage but was uncertain whether it was a cigarette or something else.
He admitted that he never noticed whether there were fire extinguishers and fire exit signs at this entertainment venue with it only becoming clear through video clips circulating on social media.
Thanaphat said he had talked to the pub owner who was polite but he was uncertain whether he was a military officer or not.
Thanaphat placing flowers in front of Mountain B pub where two other musicians had died and afterwards talking to the press. Photos: Matichon