It had been the 1st of January 2009 for only 35 minutes when tourist and local party goers alike, bringing in the New Year at Club Santika in Watthana, Bangkok, found themselves engulfed in flame and fire.
Only half an hour earlier they had celebrated the count down and danced to the live band, a local covers band ominously name “burn”.
There was only one way out, the main entrance door, and tragically many were trampled in the stampede of customers rushing to escape. Some even passed out before they could attempt to do so, from inhaling the fumes from burning plastic.
Horrifying photos and videos from the scene show the charred bodies of those who were not lucky enough to get out, stretching towards the exit, frozen in a scream.
Although police blamed the lead singer of “Burn” for the incident, claiming that he was using fireworks indoors, witnesses claim that nothing other than sparklers were used that night.
Substandard safety regulations like lack of alternative exits and one only small fire extinguisher present for the entire building, as well as lax attitude to building regulations, contributed to the death toll.
66 people died as a result of the Santika club fire, and 222 were injured.
The letters from the sign on the front of the building were burned away, all but two, the letters “KA”, which, morbidly, is the word for “kill” in Thai.