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Two jailed over fatal nightclub fire

THAILAND: The owner of a Bangkok nightclub destroyed by a fire that killed 67 people on New Year’s Day in 2009 was convicted of gross negligence and sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday, prosecutors said.

Thursday 22 September 2011, 04:24PM

Visuk Setsawat, whose Santika Club was set ablaze by pyrotechnics during a performance by rock band Burn, was imprisoned on charges of gross negligence resulting in death or injury by the southern Bangkok criminal court.

Boonchu Laosrinak, owner of Focus Light Sound System Company, the company that installed the pyrotechnics, was also convicted on the same charges and sentenced to three years in jail.

The court dismissed charges against three club employees and Burn lead singer Saravuth Ariya because of insufficient evidence.

“For Saravuth... because there was already solid evidence that the fire was caused by lighting effects, not because of his acts, the judge dismissed his charges,” the prosecutor said.

Focus Light Sound System Company was fined B20,000.

The court heard 103 people were wounded, including 32 people who suffered critical or life-changing injuries, the prosecutor said.

Hundreds of party-goers were inside the swanky nightclub when it caught fire.

Three Singaporeans, one Japanese and a Myanmar national were among the dead, while scores of foreigners including some from Australia, France and Britain were injured. – AFP



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