Burnt Sattahip Pub’s Owner Released on Bail

On Monday, the Pattaya Provincial Court approved bail for the owner of the Sattahip pub that burst into flames on Friday morning, killing 15 people and injuring 38 others early.

Pongsiri Panprasong was released on bail with a 300,000-baht cash surety set by his lawyer Anucha Wongsrisat.

Authorities took the 27-year-old man from the Phu Ta Luang police station in Chon Buri’s Sattahip district, where he had been detained since Saturday, to the Pattaya court. There, officers opposed the bail and requested the pub owner’s detention for at least 12 more days while the investigation over the incident is carried out.

However, the court upheld the defense attorney’s request to temporarily release his client. Now, Mr. Pongsiri must wear an electronic monitoring bracelet and appear in court three times, including once in 24 days.

During the bail period, he cannot perform any act that could alter the evidence in the case.

Mr. Pongsiri, also known as “Sia B,” pleaded guilty to two counts. He has been charged with negligence causing deaths and operating an unlicensed nightspot.

Leaving the Sattahip police station towards the court, he told reporters: “I am very sorry. I will do everything to ensure compensation. I will compensate everyone.”

The court’s decision comes just days after a fire at the Mountain B pub in Sattahip, Chon Buri, left dozens of victims. Witnesses said that the flames began to spread from the ceiling to the venue’s stage and the rest of the facilities through soundproofing foam.

Around 100 people were inside the pub when the fire started. Many tried to flee for their lives, but the entertainment venue did not have properly signaled emergency exits.

The cause of the accident is still unknown, but the forensic police inspected the pub on Monday. Its facilities were completely destroyed, as the roof and structure were charred by fire.

Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt said most nighttime revelers did not know which pubs were illegal or up to safety standards. In response, the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has teamed up with the city’s police to conduct inspections of entertainment venues and related businesses.

At least 83 pubs and bars have been ordered to close as a result.