A fire broke out in the early hours of this morning at Tiger Discotheque located in the Patong area of Phuket. Thai officials say four people have died and at least a dozen others have been injured in the fire which took hold on the second floor of the club. Local police believe the blaze may have been caused by lightning striking a nearby transformer with the resulting fire spreading to the club. Tiger Discotheque is a well-known Patong nightclub popular with Thais and overseas visitors and initial reports suggest tourists are amongst those injured or killed.
The incident will again call into question the safety of nightclubs in Thailand. In 2009, more than 60 people were killed by a fire at the Santika Club in Bangkok. The investigation into that fire revealed details of alleged corruption from police and local officials who had knowingly overlooked regulations. The owner of Santika Club and another man were jailed last year.