SINGAPORE: One Singaporean man is believed to have died in a fire that broke out at Santika Pub in Bangkok during New Year celebrations early January 1.
Thai authorities have identified the victim as Teo Sze Siong. The 38-year-old, who works for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, had left for Thailand on Sunday to holiday and to attend a friend's wedding.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it has made arrangements for his two elder brothers to fly to Bangkok on Thursday evening.
Similar arrangements have also been made for family members of two other Singaporeans who are hospitalised with minor injuries due to the fire.
It added that the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok will continue to work with the local authorities to ascertain if there are any more Singaporeans affected.
According to reports, at least 59 people, including a number of foreigners, died in the nightclub which has a capacity of 1,000. But it is not clear how many people were there at the time of the blaze.
Meanwhile, local media reports put the number of injured at 223.
The party had been touted as a "Goodbye Santika" event as the pub owner was planning to move to another location.
Police said the fire may have been caused by firecrackers or pyrotechnics or an electrical fault, but have ruled out arson. Located on Ekkamai Street, the club attracts well-off locals and foreigners.
Many were still trapped and frantically struggling to escape when rescue workers arrived. Pulled to safety, they escaped with barely any of the party clothes they were wearing.
Others never reached the exit. Many were burnt beyond recognition and most bodies were found in the basement of the club.
Witnesses described a stampede and lack of exits.
"There was only one gate to come out, you know. The gate was very small, only two metres," one of them said.
"It was chaotic; too many people were stuck behind the door. Some of them tried to break through the glass window," another added.
Police said the fire may have been caused by firecrackers, pyrotechnics or an electrical fault. Arson has been ruled out as the cause.
Some party-goers who are returning to Singapore reported traffic chaos in the Ekkamai entertainment area where the fire occurred.
But the incident has not put off clubbers.
"This is a one-off incident and I think Bangkok nightlife is generally very safe," one said.
Bangkok's nightspots have often been the subject of safety concerns, although they have been incident-free for the last five years.
Singaporeans with friends or relatives who are known to be in the vicinity of the affected area and who have remained uncontactable, can get in touch with the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok.
They can also contact the MFA Duty Office or the Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Bangkok.
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore in Bangkok
Add: 129 South Sathorn Road, Bangkok 10120
Tel: 001-66-(2)-286-2111, 001-66-(81) 844-3580
Fax: 001-66-(2) 286-6966
They can also contact the MFA in Singapore at 6379-8800 or 6379-8855, or by fax at 6476-7302, or email to firstname.lastname@example.org