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Legal 500 (2016)

Fire at Bangkok Club

Mr Smart was enjoying the New Years’ Eve Celebrations at the Santika Club in Bangkok, with his girlfriend on the night of the 31st of December 08, having spent Christmas with his mother and stepdad in Goa, India.  

Revellers had been provided with sparklers and the club was serving alcoholic drinks. A local band was playing and the band had arranged for fireworks to be displayed in the club.  It has not yet been confirmed what sparked the fire, but it is assumed that it could have been either a sparkler or the fireworks. The ceiling quickly ignited and party goers noticed smoke initially, then toxic fumes and soon the club was ablaze. 

Party goers tried to find a way out, but some never managed to escape or be saved. Mr Smart was lucky enough to be pulled out by the emergency services, who had been called on site as soon as it became apparent that the fire was growing bigger. He and three other Britons were injured in the blaze.

Mr Smart was taken to the intensive care unit of a local private hospital where he was treated for serious burns to his body, face, hands and back. He had  severe damage to his airway due to smoke inhalation. He had breathing problems, renal failure and high blood pressure as a result of the smoke inhalation and burns. He was placed on a ventilator.

Due to the extent of his injuries, it was not possible to arrange for a skin graft and Mr Smart is still receiving treatment for his burns and high blood pressure. It is thought that he will need long term medication.

Whilst he was being treated at the Bangkok hospital, his mother and step-dad who had been living in Goa, travelled to see him. Soon after they had arrived, his step-dad became unwell. He had a pacemaker and it seems that he suffered a heart attack. Mr Smart’s step-dad died a few days later.

Mr Smart learned of his stepfather’s death when he was taken off the ventilator. He has now returned to the UK, where he used to work as a financial sales manager in Birmingham.

He has contacted Irwin Mitchell Solicitors to see whether it would be possible to make a claim for compensation against either the Club owners of the Santika or the local singers’ band. One of the owners of the Santika is still not accounted for, having disappeared after the fire.

At this stage of the investigations, both the owners of the club and the lead singer have been charged, in Thailand. It has emerged that the club might not have been fully licensed to host such party nor sell alcohol. Further investigations in that regards are under way. The local police have also indicated that the fire might have started because of the fireworks, but possibly also because the basic safety regulations had not been followed.

Irwin Mitchell are investigating this further with one of their local agents.

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