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Families of pub inferno victims seek action against state officials

Families of pub inferno victims seek action against state officials

CHON BURI: Families of victims of the horrendous Mountain B pub fire in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district have demanded legal action be taken against state officials for dereliction of duty, as the death toll in the Aug 5 blaze climbed to 25.

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By Bangkok Post

Wednesday 19 October 2022, 09:32AM


Families of Mountain B pub inferno victims, led by lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet (in pink face mask) yesterday (Oct 18) submit a letter seeking legal action against state officials for dereliction of duty. Photo: Supplied / Wassayos Ngamkham

Families of Mountain B pub inferno victims, led by lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet (in pink face mask) yesterday (Oct 18) submit a letter seeking legal action against state officials for dereliction of duty. Photo: Supplied / Wassayos Ngamkham

Lawyer Ronnarong Kaewphet yesterday (Oct 18) led representatives of 31 families of victims of the inferno to the Central Investigation Bureau’s complaint centre, reports the Bangkok Post.

They submitted a letter to Pol Maj Gen Charoonkiat Pankaew, commander of the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD), demanding action against state officials for dereliction of duty and related offences.

The letter was received by Pol Lt Col Prasarn Fuekfon, deputy chief for investigation at the ACD’s sub-division 1.

Mr Ronnarong said the Mountain B inferno claimed many lives and left many others severely injured. Legal action was being taken against the pub owner for recklessness causing deaths and injuries, and opening and operating an entertainment venue without the required permits. The case was being handled by public prosecutors.

However, there had been no investigation into the actions of certain state officials also responsible for the tragedy, he said. State officials had been negligent in failing to inspect the building and fire prevention and mitigation equipment to ensure it was in compliance with the law.

The pub inferno had horrified the public, Mr Ronnarong said. The damaged parties wanted the ACD to take action against those negligent officials to ensure that the justice prevailed in society.

ACD police investigators said they would forward the case to their commander.

On Saturday, Parichart Kwanyuenyong, 26, from Rayong province, was pronounced dead at King Chulalongkorn Memorial Hospital in Bangkok after 72 days of treatment for severe burns suffered in the Aug 5 fire. She was the 25th fatality.

Workers demolished the fire gutted pub building on Saturday.

The fire started at the pub in Sattahip district of Chon Buri in the early hours of Aug 5, killing 13 people trapped inside as the blaze tore through the building. Twelve burn victims have since succumbed to their injuries. More are still being treated, some with debilitating injuries.

The pub was operating without a proper permit, had a blocked exit and had undergone extensive modification, including installation of highly inflammable soundproofing material.

Somyos Panprasong, 55, the owner of the pub, has been charged with recklessness causing deaths and injuries, and opening and operating an entertainment venue without permission.

The blaze at Mountain B pub brought back memories of the Santika pub inferno in Bangkok during the New Year’s Eve countdown to Jan 1, 2009. Sixty-seven people were killed and 103 injured, 32 of them left with serious disablities. That blaze was started by fireworks let off inside the building.

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