The fire broke out around 1 am in the Mountain B nightclub, a one-story building in Sattahip district of Chonburi province, southeast of Bangkok. Thai police said 30 kilometers (18 miles) south of Pattaya, a popular tourist destination.
Police Colonel Wuttipong Somjai told CNN that the fire occurred during a live music show and Burn injuries ranged from “mild to severe”.
He confirmed that all those who died were Thai citizens. Rescue officials said one of the dead was 17, the youngest known to have died.
Colonel Somjay said investigations into the cause of the fire were now underway.
People couldn’t escape
Natanit Bicol Kaew said she was at the nightclub to celebrate her brother’s birthday and was near the front of the stage when a woman ran up screaming that the ceiling was on fire.
Seconds later, she saw that the speakers on the platform were on fire.
“At no time did the fire spread to the ceiling,” she told CNN, adding that when members of the audience tried to flee the club’s entrance, she stumbled.
“I saw people trying to break the glass walls, but it was very thick,” she said.
Her brother sustained severe burns and is in critical condition. His friend died inside the building.
Ravon Namtham, a local musician who regularly performs at the nightclub on Monday evenings, told CNN that the venue opened two months ago and has become popular with locals because of the band’s nightly performances from 12 a.m. to 1 a.m. “Customers come to drink and dance.” .
He was not in the nightclub when the fire broke out, but said the front door is the only entry and exit point for customers.
He said musicians were coming in and out through the back door, which will be closed during performances.
He added that the nightclub’s ceiling was lined with highly flammable soundproof panels.
Namtham said the band Taew Waew was performing at the time of the fire and that the singer and alternative keyboardist were among those who died. He said the drummer was on a life-sustaining ventilator at a nearby hospital.
Pictures taken by the local search operation Rescue Sattahip showed heavily charred seats inside.