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The fire at the Tiger Disco burst from the venue in Patong early today

Patong Blaze Photos: Injured Dancer Tells of Lucky Escape

Friday, August 17, 2012
PHUKET: This is the spectacular blaze at the Tiger Discotheque in Patong, the nightclub hub of Phuket, that killed four people and left 11 others injured early today.

Police have yet to identify whether the dead - two men and two women - are Thais or tourists. Four of those injured were French. All but two survivors were treated and released.

Kanyaporn Kantong, 25, who was one of several victims treated for burns at Patong Hospital, said: ''Someone pushed me out the door. I owe them my life.''

Hundreds of people were in the disco at the time, she said.

''I went there with two friends about 2.30am,'' she added, sitting on the lawn at the hospital with bandages on one leg and a toe.

''We saw the smoke but I thought it was a disco special effect. Then I looked up at the disco ball and saw the flames.

''We knew then that it was serious. I didn't know which way to go. Luckily, someone pushed me in the right direction.''

One theory about the cause of the blaze is that lightning may have hit a transformer, starting the fire.

Patong police say they have talked to a witness who saw the lightning.

The manager of the Tiger Discotheque, Tamrongsak Boonsak, said the fire broke out about 2am.

''People heard two blasts and it was originally thought that it was further down Soi Bangla,'' he said.

''We will do what we can to help those who have been injured and to help the families of those who have died.''

He estimated damage at 100 million baht and said that investigating police would have full cooperation.

Comments

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Well, I was awake (and sober) at the time and heard no lightning during the rain last night. I think it is a bit of a leap of logic for the police to blame lightning when, apparently, there were no witnesses to it. We all know that dust and muck builds up on these transformers when there is no rain for a while. My only surprise is that there were not significantly more transformers that blew last night. I recall thinking when the rain started that it was only a matter of time before the transformer in my soi blew and I would be left in darkness.

Posted by Ping on August 17, 2012 12:51

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... fire broke out at 2:00. Possible lightning strike .... hummm, I start to smell something here. At least, I hope Tiger will pay for victims' hospitalisation and body repatriation.

Posted by cekipa on August 17, 2012 13:03

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Hi Ping,

Not so sober as you thought, there was lightning during the rain, and directly after that a loud explosion.

Posted by adriaan on August 17, 2012 14:17

Editor Comment:

If you saw the lightning, you could be an important witness. Unless you saw the lightning, adriaan, you can't say it for a fact.

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2am, 2.30 am,...
What time, legally, the tiger has to close, anyway?
Is the new tiger already prepared, for taking over?

Posted by ??? on August 17, 2012 15:26

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*Lightning*
===
Does Thai Building Code not require anti-lightning protection installation on all public buildings?
To get a building hit nowadays with lightning sounds very, hm, call it archaic.

Posted by SUe on August 17, 2012 15:33

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The person I spoke to suggested it was a problem known to officials as transformers had exploded a number of times already. My source said 'quote' - "there is no law here."

Posted by logbags on August 17, 2012 16:44

Editor Comment:

Transformers blow quite often, so we have learned. There's a buildup of salt in dry weather, and that doesn't help. Often, salty or not, transformers will blow in the first rainstorm after a dry spell.

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Condolences.

Posted by Amam N tai black. on August 17, 2012 20:39

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If so many of us know about the problems with these tranformers, one wonders hy they are still in use ??
Any electrician out there who can tell ?
Are lightning rods used in Thailand anywhere ?

Posted by Resident on August 18, 2012 12:12


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