PHUKET: A Thai waitress who worked at the Tiger Discotheque may have been identified today after a friend recognized a wristwatch and a bracelet found on one of the four bodies incinerated by the blaze.
Phuket Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul today confirmed that several people had come forward to identify at least one of the four victims incinerated in the Tiger Discotheque inferno in Patong early this morning.
“I received reports of one French tourist and one Japanese tourist missing from guesthouses in the Patong area. I have just received another report from Patong Police about one missing Thai staffer who worked at Tiger Discotheque,” he confirmed to the Phuket Gazette.
The news follows several guesthouses today reporting guests who did not return to their hotels last night, Maj Gen Chonasit explained this afternoon.
Earlier today, several people arrived at Patong Police Station to file missing persons reports.
One officer told the Gazette, “One Thai woman who came to the police station said she recognized the wristwatch and bracelet of her friend when she went to see the body at Patong Hospital.
“She said her friend worked as a waitress at Tiger Discotheque. She [the victim] was around 20 years old and originally came from Sukhothai province.”
The officer added that two Frenchmen, both tourists, also arrived at Patong Police Station to report that their friend had been missing since last night.
“They thought their friend might be one of the bodies found at Tiger Discotheque,” he said.
One Japanese tourist also came to the police station to report a friend who had been missing since last night, the officer added.
The officer declined to name Thai staffer, the French tourist or the Japanese tourist reported as missing.
Maj Gen Chonasit said that one of the bodies is believed to have been female or a transgender person, called katoey in Thai.
“I am not sure if it is the body of female or transgender person, but there were silicone implants under the breasts,” he said.
However, he added, “We can’t be 100 per cent sure who the person is until the body is formally identified at the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok.”
The news follows Royal Thai Police Assistant Commissioner-General Lt Gen Chalermkiat Srivorakan arriving from Bangkok this afternoon to see with his own eyes the devastation the fire had caused.
Lt Gen Chalermkiat confirmed that he had ordered the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok to take over the daunting task of identifying the four victims trapped in the blaze.
“We have assigned officers from Office of Forensic Science from Bangkok to investigate the cause of the fire. I have also ordered that all four bodies be sent to the Institute of Forensic Medicine in Bangkok for identification.
“No one from the institute in Bangkok has arrived yet. A team from Provincial Police Region 8 came down today to check, but I have yet to receive any report [from them],” he added.
“I will also check for the operating hours of this place, but the most important thing at this stage is to determine the cause of fire and to identify the bodies,” Lt Gen Chalermkiat said.
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