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Thread: Four dead in Thai nightclub fire
20-08-12, 01:52 AM #11
Re: Four dead in Thai nightclub fire
Missing man called his brother as pub burned
The Nation August 20, 2012 1:00 am
A Westerner missing in Phuket may have perished in this week's Tiger Discotheque fire, the brother of a British man who made desperate phone calls from the pub to tell him and his friends that he loved them told a press conference yesterday.
Speaking tearfully at the session, Joseph Suvalni 26, said his brother Michael, 24, called him at around 10pm London time last Friday to say: "I am at the Tiger, which is now on fire. I love everyone."
"The signal was then gone, but I did not hear any screaming or commotion from the other side during the phone conversation. I have prayed all along that nothing bad has happened to him," Suvalni said.
The badly charred bodies of all four fatalities in the fire were sent to Bangkok for DNA collection before Joseph Suvalni arrived in Phuket yesterday morning. Police led him to inspect a room at the Sands Inn in Khathoo district where Michael checked in, and found all of his belongings. Michael, a construction worker, was due to depart Thailand yesterday.
In a photo identification with Khathoo police prior to the press conference, Joseph could not positively identify the ring worn on a finger of one of the bodies seen in evidence photos.
Four missing-person complaints have been lodged with Khathoo police since the Tiger Discotheque fire, which killed four people and injured 11 others, two seriously. The four cases involve Niphawat Sudson, 36, a Nong Bua Lamphu native: Duangphorn Butkhlor, 32, a Nakhon Ratchasima native: an unidentified French national; and Michael Suvalni.
A deputy national police chief, Pol Lt-General Jaramphorn Suramanee, said the four victims succumbed to suffocation before their bodies were burned, citing initial autopsy results. He said identification of the bodies must be done through DNA verification and examination of clothing, birthmarks or tattoos by people who knew the victims.
His information that two of the bodies were likely of Asian women and two others appeared to belong to two Western males were consistent with the four missing-person complaints received by Khathoo police.
Meanwhile, the chief of the Provincial Electricity Authority (PEA)'s Patong office on Saturday refuted allegations that the Tiger Discotheque fire was caused by an exploding transformer, as claimed by a lawyer representing a firm that runs the venue.
In a Phuket Gazette online article, Atipong Thongyon 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 metres from and on the same side of the road as the popular night club.
The transformer is rated at 250kVA (250,000 volt amps), which is suitable for housing and small businesses, said Atipong. "Tiger's transformer is rated 400kVA, which is suitable for a big entertainment venue," Atipong explained. "Both of the transformers are fine."
20-08-12, 03:20 AM #12
Re: Four dead in Thai nightclub fire
Tiger Disco fire: British man appeals to find lost brother
Phuket Gazette – Sunday, August 19, 2012 5:58:00 PM
Michael Pio Tzouvanni, 24, was known to be at Tiger Disco on Soi Bangla, Patong, when the deadly fire broke out at about 4am. Photo: Handout image
PHUKET: A British man today held a public appeal to find his brother, who was last known to be at Tiger Discotheque at the time the deadly fire broke out at about 4am on Friday.
With tears in his eyes, Joseph Tzouvanni, 26, told the press in Phuket that his brother, Michael Pio Tzouvanni, 24, had not been heard from since the night of the fire.
“He has been missing for three days now. I’ve been busy checking everywhere to find him – the prison, the police, hotels – as he could be anywhere. Anyone who can help [let me know] where he is, [or] please contact the British Embassy,” he said.
Mr Tzouvanni, who flew from London to find his brother, explained, “Michael called his friend at 4am at the Tiger Discotheque on the day of the fire… I don’t know what he talked about with his friend.”
He added that Michael’s belongings were still at the Sand Inn hotel, where he was staying.
“He had already stayed in Phuket for 10 days and he extended [his stay] another four days as he loves Phuket. He always comes to Phuket, especially Soi Bangla.
“We love him and we need to find him. We have five brothers one sister. As soon as we found out that Michael had disappeared, I decided by my own to come here.
“He is on Bangla every day. He’s probably just missing as we hope, but if anyone sees him around, please contact the police. Please help me find Michael,” he added.
Mr Tzouvanni described Michael as about 5 feet 7 inches tall, slim and a “smiley person”.
“He’s got a ring on his left little finger, and he is a construction developer in England,” he said.
Capt Urumporn Koondejsumrit of the Tourist Police explained that Michael was scheduled to fly out of Phuket at about 4pm today.
“Joseph has already inspected the bodies [of the four victims recovered from the fire], but he could not identify any of them as [Michael],” he said.
“We will send Michael’s toothbrush and a sample of Joseph’s DNA to the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Police General Hospital [in Bangkok] today," he added.
In late-breaking news this afternoon, senior investigators at the Royal Thai Police Institute of Forensic Medicine announced at a press conference in Bangkok that preliminary tests indicated that the four bodies were of “two men and two women” and “two Caucasians and two Asians”.
However, the forensics officers did not reveal any further details.
20-08-12, 07:17 PM #13
Re: Four dead in Thai nightclub fire
Styrofoam 'sped up Tiger blaze'
by Paritta Wangkiat
Monday 20 August 2012, 05:50PM
This afternoon (August 20), led by Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, officials from related authorities and architecture and engineering specialists inspected the Tiger Discotheque to try to establish what caused the fire and caused the deaths of four people.
After the building inspection, the President of the Safety in Architecture section of the Association of Siamese Architects, Bundit Pradabsook, said 20 per cent of the surface of the discotheque, inside and out, was decorated with expanded polystyrene (EPS, or styrofoam), a highly inflammable material that would have spread the fire more quickly.
The party noted six fire exits, complying with building regulation. However, they also noted that the stairs leading down from some of the fire exits did not reach the ground.
According to new regulations for entertainment venues brought in in March this year, flammable materials such as EPS must not cover more than 10 per cent of building’s surface.
The regulations were brought in as a result of the fire at the Santika Club in Bangkok in the early hours of New Year’s day in 2009, which killed 66 people and injured another 222.
The regulations include maximum occupancy, with no more than one person per square meter allowed in a night club or bar.
After the new regulations were announced in March this year, entertainment venue were given 180 days (in other words, until next month) to make the necessary modifications such as cutting down on the use of flammable materials, the number of fire exits and maximum occupancy.
“It’s the responsibility of the authorities to notify entertainment venues about the new regulations, but it’s up to the operators of the venues to research and understand the rules, and to comply,” said Mr Bundit.
“It’s beyond our brief today to conclude whether the building was modified in terms of structure or use. But modification to a building can also causes fires. When the functions of the building change, human activities can cause an increase of the heat inside the building.”
An example of this, he said, might be the use of spotlights and additional power if the building were modified for use as a night club.
While it was beyond Mr Bundit’s brief to comment on modifications, the Chief of the Technical Section of Patong Municipality, Sub Lt Lerdpong Tanamunset, said that the building housing Tiger Discotheque had been modified.
He said the owner of the building had originally applied in 1999 for a permit from the municipality to build “a two-storey semi-commercial-residential building”.
Later, the building was modified as a discotheque and bar complex. Sub Lt Lerdpong said the municipality had not received an application for either the modification to the building or the change of use.
But he noted that the master plan for the building was among many kept on the ground floor of the Municipality building, which was hit by the 2004 Asian tsunami, resulting in the destruction of many of those records.
The modifications included the addition of fire exits and the decoration of the walls.
However, Sema Sinchai, General Manager of Sara Entertainment Company, which operated Tiger, insisted that the use of the building was definitely legal.
“I can’t comment in depth right now,” Mr Sema said. “After we receive the results from Institute of Forensic Science, we will comment further and show evidence that proves the legality [of our operation].”
Mr Sema said the Sara Entertainment Co would pay B1 million compensation to the families of each person who had died in the inferno. Those who were injured would have their medical fees covered and receive compensation of B5,000.
He said that the company has already been in touch with about 20 of the injured.
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22-08-12, 03:57 AM #14
Re: Four dead in Thai nightclub fire
Briton among blaze victims
First of four bodies in Phuket fire identified
Published: 22/08/2012 at 01:36 AMNewspaper section: News
Police forensic officers have identified one of the four victims of the Phuket nightclub fire as a British tourist.
Assistant national police chief Jarumporn Suramanee said dental records showed one of the victims in the Aug 17 fire at Tiger Discotheque in the Patong area of Kathu district was British national Michael Pio Tzouvanni, 24.
Officers from the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Police General Hospital obtained Tzouvanni's dental records from his family on Sunday,
These details matched the dental characteristics of one of the four bodies found on the mezzanine of the nightclub, Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn said.
A post-mortem examination found Tzouvanni had died from suffocation and smoke inhalation, he said.
Police handed over the victim identification report to Tzouvanni's elder brother, Joseph, and officials from the British embassy yesterday.
His body will be kept at the Police General Hospital until his family are ready to take it back to Britain, Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn said.
Three people remain missing after the blaze _ two Thai women and a French man.
Pol Lt Gen Jarumporn said forensic officers had obtained DNA samples from the parents of the two missing Thais, but were waiting for DNA samples and dental records of the French tourist that would confirm whether or not the three missing people died in the fire.
He expects officers will identify the remaining three bodies in the next few days.
Kittipong Klaikaew, chief investigator of the Tiger Discotheque inferno, yesterday said police had not charged anyone because they had not yet obtained key documents, including results of an examination of the venue's main switchboard and the building modification permission issued by Patong municipality.
The probe into the cause of the fire is expected to be completed within 30 days, Pol Lt Col Kittipong said.
Patong municipality yesterday ordered Kata Holding Group, the owner of the building on Soi Bangla where Tiger Discotheque was located, to seal off the building and install devices to prevent falling materials.
The authorities also instructed the building owner to hire experts to examine the building's condition.
Meanwhile, the Experts from the Association of Siamese Architects Under Royal Patronage (Asa) and the Building Safety Inspectors and Office Association (BSA) yesterday called on operators of entertainment venues, especially in major cities, to strictly follow building safety regulations.
Bundit Pradabsuk, chairman of Asa's building safety committee, said an inspection of the Tiger Discotheque on Monday found some safety regulations were not properly followed.
"Although the venue has seven fire exits, which is more than the number required by law for a place of this size, we suspect that fire exit signs were not fire-proof," Pol Lt Col Bundit said.
Fire extinguishers were also kept in a place that was difficult to reach, he added.
"Investigators should also find out if the fire alarm was working properly when the fire broke out," the building safety expert said.
BSA vice-president Wasawat Kitsiriteeraphak said the Phuket fire should serve as a lesson for operators of night entertainment venues in other cities, including Bangkok.
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