Bangkok (CNN) -- Four people have been killed in a fire that swept through a popular nightclub in the early hours of Friday morning on the Thai island of Phuket.
It's not known whether those killed were Thai nationals or foreign tourists, as the bodies were burnt beyond recognition, director of Patong Hospital, Bhumin Silapan, told CNN.
Eleven others were being treated in the same hospital, including seven Thais and four French nationals. One of the French patients was in a serious condition with 40% burns and receiving oxygen, Silapan said.
Police are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze but the officer in charge of the case told CNN that it's believed a transformer near the Tiger Pub, also known as Soi Tiger, on Bangla Road, Patong, caught fire.
"I am interviewing many witnesses so I can't conclude the exact cause until I gather more information and evidence," Lt. Colonel Jongserm Preecha said Friday.
Unconfirmed reports stated the fire was caused by a lightning strike which hit the transformer, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP), which quoted Phuket deputy governor Chamroen Tipayapongtada.
Phuket is popular holiday resort for foreign tourists and the Tiger Bar is described by one online travel guide as "one of the most popular places to have a drink in all of Phuket."
"Every single night the entire bar area of Tiger is packed with bar girls and tourists and it is like this throughout the night," according to a review on Phuket-Fever.com.
Forensic experts were expected to arrive at the hospital Friday afternoon to identify the dead.
4 more years!
OMG how could that happen!!...
"You really want to save the planet?...the next time you see a hybrid car with a childseat... smash the window, remove the childseat and replace it with a box of condoms..." Doug Stanhope
Just fucking tragic. Really, I mean that. I feel for the family and friends of the victims. You go to a disco, looking for a laugh and something like this happens. It is just horrible. There but for the grace of God, go I.
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Betcha there was no backdoor. Betcha there was not an altruistic being among all those bar girls clawing at each other trying to be first to clear the front door.
Shit; Phuket again???? No way this is good. With all that has happened; I'm at a loss for words, maybe best!
Frederick Douglass: Find out just what any people will quietly submit to
and you have found out the exact measure of injustice
and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these
will continue till they are resisted with either
words or blows, or with both.
“Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask
anything of them.”
Yeah? Oh, big surprise, no. TIT
I'm just so happy I never run with the crowd.
It happened at 4 in the morning so who is gonna take the blame because it was supposed to be close if u follow the law
Shhh.......place that big and successful is prolly owned by a cop or politician...nobody's gonna bring that up...
You didn't call that one, did you?
Patong Electricity Chief Denies Transformer Started Tiger Inferno
PHUKET: -- The chief of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA) Patong office today refuted allegations that the Tiger Discotheque fire yesterday morning was caused by an exploding transformer.
The popular nightclub was reportedly packed with tourists when the fire broke out. Four people died in the blaze.
Atipong Thongyon this morning told the press, “We have checked the transformer and it is operating normally. Another transformer, belonging to Tiger Discotheque, is also working normally.”
He explained that the PEA transformer for the section of Soi Bangla where Tiger Discotheque is located is about 50 meters from and on the same side of the road as the popular nightclub.
The transformer is rated at 250kVA (250,000 volt amps), which is suitable for housing and small businesses, said Mr Atipong.
The transformer that powered the Tiger Discotheque is located on a roof above a bar at the end of a small street that joins Soi Bangla.
“Tiger’s transformer is rated 400kVA, which is suitable for a big entertainment venue,” Mr Atipong explained.
“Both of the transformers are fine,” he confirmed.
Mr Atipong said that the electricity went off at 3:52am, before reports of the fire circulated.
“So if the fire was not caused by transformers blowing up, it is possible it was caused by an electrical short. However, as we are not allowed to examine inside the discotheque yet, I’m not sure whether it was an electrical short or not,” he said.
Mr Atipong said that the power supply to the nightclub’s transformer has been cut as a safety precaution.
“Which means the bars next to Tiger Discotheque have to remain closed as they have no electricity. After everything has been checked and confirmed to be safe, the power supply will be restored to the businesses,” he assured.
I once saw a high-tension cable disconnected and sitting on the highway, still attached to the pole. Not to fear tho, some good Samaritan placed a palm leaf over it.
!,000 jobs??? Holy shit - the place was massive!
Phuket Disco Owner Tells: I Will Find New Jobs for 1000 Staff
By Chutima Sidasathian and Alan Morison
Monday, August 20, 2012
PHUKET: Tiger Disco owner Piya Isaramalai went to Patong police soon after an inferno destroyed the nightclub, killing four people, and was questioned for 12 hours, he reveals today.
In a long exclusive interview with a Thai news outlet, Khun Piya discloses:
..that he was among those in the disco on Friday morning and jumped for his life from the upstairs disco area;
.. that Tiger Group lawyer Tamrongsak Boonrak accompanied him to police, with all relevant documents, for the 12-hour interview;
..that Simon Cabaret's owners also own the land on which the Tiger Discotheque and bar complex stands in Soi Bangla;
..that efforts are being made to find alternatives for 1000 Tiger staff and independent bar owners;
..that attention is now centred on the indoor dance balcony around the main dance floor [where the four people are believed to have been trapped by flames.]
Khun Piya said in the interview that the disco had been open for 13 years and that a contract had recently been signed for the lease to be extended for another six years.
In the aftermath of the blaze, he planned to have the building demolished and returned to the property's owners.
Damage was estimated at 100 million baht but insurance only covered 60 million baht, he said.
If at some point a long-term contract could be renegotiated, Tiger might be tempted to rebuild.
About 1000 people were now out of work because of the blaze - there were 30 bars in the disco and a total of 80 in the Tiger complex.
All the Tiger staff were being reemployed at other Tiger Group businesses in Patong, including the new Tiger Live Band complex on Soi Bangla.
Space would also be found at Tiger Live Band for the bars that were forced to close because of the blaze, Khun Piya said in the interview.
He said he had provided police in Patong with photographs and video evidence that supported his contention that a lightning strike during Friday morning's storm ignited the blaze.
All relevant documents concerning the permission for the building had been handed over the police, he said, including documents concerning the erection of the dance balcony.
He would cover the hospital costs of critically burned Frenchman Benjamin Tallanotte, 30, and others injured and compensate the families of the dead.
In the disco when the fire broke out, Khun Piya said he instructed staff to train fire extinguishers on the flames. A short time later he was among the last to flee the building.
He emphasised that it was only because of the heavy and prolonged rain storm that patrons were still in the disco.
Khun Piya was emotional during the interview, according to the account, and apologised profusely to neighboring Patong businesses, and to the tourism industry in general.
"Khun Piya was emotional during the interview" yeah, right.