Thai fire club owner surrenders

Owner of club where 65 died in New Year fire turns himself in after arrest warrant issued.

    The Santika club had been refused a license since 2004 but continued to operate  [EPA]

    The Thai-Chinese businessman who tearfully apologised to relatives of victims last week, faces up to 10 years in jail.

    Police said he denied all charges and was released on one million baht ($28,571) bail after almost three hours of questioning.


    Of the 229 people who were injured in the fire, 39 remain hospitalised, with 19 in intensive care units and the others in stable condition, Thai emergency services say.

    Officials say the cause of the fire is still not clear but witnesses have blamed fireworks set off inside the club as patrons counted down to the New Year.

    The authorities say Santika had been refused an operating licence since 2004 because of safety concerns but remained open while appealing that decision.

    Invesigators say the club had just one exit and many victims were trampled to death in the stampede to escape the fire.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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