Chadchart eyes updating rules for Bangkok nightspots to avoid tragedy
In the wake of the fatal Chonburi pub blaze that killed 19 and injured dozens of others earlier this month, the Bangkok governor is planning to revise regulations for nightspots here.
At a meeting with Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) executives on Monday, Chadchart Sittipunt said the Mountain B pub fire in Sattahip district is a valuable lesson. He also pointed out that the blaze has affected the confidence of tourists just as the tourism industry has started to recover.
The nightclub went up in flames at about 1am on August 5, killing 13 people on the spot and injuring scores of others. Since then, six victims have succumbed to their third-degree burn injuries. The pub was found to have been operating illegally as an entertainment venue despite only having a restaurant permit.
The building had also been illegally altered.
Chadchart said his aim is to revise all regulations related to entertainment venues in metropolitan areas with a focus on updating outdated clauses and eliminating overlapping regulations.
“The current regulations involving the building’s permit, safety and structural issues have been in use for over 20 years and are now due revision. We will also combine related regulations to reduce confusion,” he said.
Chadchart added that the BMA will also coordinate with the police to ensure legal compliance regarding opening and closing hours and noise created by entertainment venues. Though these factors are not under BMA’s jurisdiction, the city will work with police to prevent these venues from being a nuisance to surrounding communities, he said.
The governor added an initial survey shows that more than 90 per cent of nightspot owners are willing to comply with the BMA regarding fire safety, including adding more exits and fire extinguishers.
The governor said BMA has no immediate plans to revise the city’s zoning of entertainment venues.