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Tiger Disco fire: Governor visits survivor who ‘leaped to safety’

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Tiger Disco fire: Governor visits survivor who ‘leaped to safety’ | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: The Phuket Governor and his wife this morning visited a survivor of the Tiger Discotheque fire, who gave the press a first-hand account of how she leaped from the blazing nightspot, breaking an ankle in order to save her life.

After the visit, the governor revealed that the Patong Police are now under investigation for neglect of duty for allegedly allowing nightlife venues to remain open past designated closing times.

The survivor, 32-year-old Suree Deeying, was presented with a gift basket by Governor Tri Augkaradacha and his wife Nalinee as Ms Suree lay in her bed at Bangkok Phuket Hospital this morning.

After thanking the Governor and his wife, who chairs the Phuket Chapter of the Phuket Red Cross Society, the Tiger Discotheque employee gave her account of the events of 4am last Friday.

“I was working behind the bar on the second floor. When the fire broke out, the pub had already closed, but there were still some people inside. We had already stopped selling drinks at that time and I was preparing to close up the bar. All of a sudden I heard someone yell, ‘Fire! Fire!’ Then I looked up and saw flames all over the place,” she said.

“There are many fire exits from the second floor. So I ran out through one of them, but I was so afraid that the flames would get me, that I jumped off the staircase and landed on the ground.

“As I tried to run away, I realized that my right foot was broken. I was taken to Patong Hospital [by a good citizen] even before any ambulances arrived. The owner of Tiger Group paid for my transfer to Bangkok Hospital and my treatment here,” said Miss Suree.

She showed the press an x-ray image of her badly broken right ankle, which has already undergone reconstructive surgery.

“I am not sure how long I have to stay here, but I am feeling good overall. I will get back to work as soon as I fully recover,” said Miss Suree.

When Miss Suree does return to work, it will likely have to be at another Tiger Group venue.

“Since the fire at Tiger Disco on Friday morning, the area has been declared a disaster. We will not allow anyone into that area without permission. I have ordered the Phuket Office of Public Works and Town & Country Planning to determine whether the building is still structurally sound,” said Gov Tri.

“The Forensic Police office in Phuket has already inspected the site, but they have not yet confirmed the actual cause of fire to us. I will have to discuss the issue with Provincial Police Commander Chonasit Wattanavrangkul later today. He will give me a full briefing about the investigation.

“We will get all the facts sorted out, especially regarding the opening hours of this pub. We have to find out if they were operating past the designated closing time or not,” Gov Tri said.

As highlighted by top-level building inspectors earlier, foam-based building materials used to construct the walls of the venue appear to have been a key factor in the rapid spread of the fire.

“We will have to check why the Tiger Discotheque was allowed to use foam-based materials as part of the construction since it is a flammable material. I have to check with Patong Municipality office about the design of the discotheque, because they are the ones who signed the permits for the structure and its extension,” said the governor.

“I inspected this pub once a long time ago, before they did the extension [work]. At that time, they seemed to be following all the rules and regulations regarding construction, but I am not sure about the extension; we will have to check with Patong Municipality first,” he added.

Governor Tri has ordered all entertainment venues throughout Phuket to be inspected after the tragedy, which claimed the lives of at least four and left at least 12 others injured.

“This may sound like a case of ‘closing the stable door after the horse has bolted’, but we now have to check with all of the entertainment venues to see whether they comply with all rules and regulations. I will ask all local administrations of all areas in Phuket – especially Patong, Karon, and Phuket Town – to check the entertainment venues in their jurisdictions,” he said.

“We launched a pilot project called ‘White Entertainment Venues’ in the Phuket Town area even before the fire happened. This project now will be put into effect throughout Phuket. I want to ensure that all entertainment venues on the island are safe and following all rules and regulations,” Gov Tri warned.

“The Phuket Provincial Office has assigned a committee to investigate whether or not Patong Police are neglecting their duty by allowing night entertainment venues to open past designated closing times. We hope we can get their findings in a few days,” he added.

“The rules and regulations are already in place. Now it’s up to people who have the authority to be more strict about law enforcement.

“After the incident happened, there was wide-scale international media coverage, and [there were] many reports that Phuket entertainment venues do not have good safety standards. I have to say that it is not true. We inspect all entertainment venues on a regular basis to ensure that all of them follow all rules and regulations,” he said.

“It may take awhile before we regain [tourists’] confidence, but I want to confirm that the safety of both tourists and local residents is our top priority,” he said.

“The owner of Tiger Group has promised to help with the medical expenses for all injured people. If the help is not enough, I will offer the help myself to ensure that everyone gets proper medical treatment,” Gov Tri said.

— Chaiyot Yongcharoenchai

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Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs

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Phuket Monopoly game creators need your help with token designs | The Thaiger

Phuket is set to get its own version of the popular game MONOPOLY and its creators want your help with ideas for the specialised tokens. ‘MONOPOLY: Phuket Edition’ was announced last month which will see the street art on the board game replaced with that of famous places around Thailand’s famous tourist destination. Such art will include beaches, hotels, shops, markets and other popular attractions.

Jennifer Lau from Winning Moves UK, is producing the game under official license from Monopoly brand owners, Hasbro. Lau says the tokens will feature a holiday theme. The token’s departure from the original theme of wheelbarrows, boots, iron, and thimbles as well as popular sports cars and hats.

“We have had a wealth of emails and suggestions coming in for Phuket, so thank you for each and every single one of them! We are taking them all into consideration whilst putting together the design of the game.”

“We wanted to change the tokens so that they would be more suitable for an island like Phuket, where so many people like to go on holiday to.”

“There will be six themed tokens that replace the original and we want to hear your suggestions for what these tokens should be!”

Bangkok has already been featured in the Monopoly game as it came out for purchase back in 2018.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light

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Phuket holds vaccine administration rehearsal as it waits for green light | The Thaiger

Phuket is rehearsing procedures to ready themselves for the Covid‐19 vaccine administration green light. A rehearsal at Vachira Hospital’s Lan Muang Khao open area was held late yesterday to iron out any kinks in the administration process. Phuket Vice Governor Pichet Panapong watched over the procedures along with other health officials.

Pichet says the first vaccine round of 4,000 doses should arrive early in March, with the 2nd and 3rd set of doses, 16,000 and 48,000 respectively, to arrive in April and May.

“The government recognises the importance of the affected areas of the economy where the epidemic situation of COVID-19 must be stopped and has allocated the COVID-19 vaccine to Phuket Province to build herd immunity, restore the economy, return a smile to Thailand.”

“We are preparing to COVID-19 mass vaccination to build confidence among the people that they will receive a quality, safe vaccine and to receive follow-up care after it has been administered.”

Pichet says Phuket’s first target groups to receive the vaccine include medical and public health personnel, with others on the frontlines to come next.

Then, workers aged 18-59 years old, people with underlying diseases including chronic respiratory disease, cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity will follow.

“People with severe neurological conditions and pregnant women should be wary of taking the vaccine, as well as women who are breastfeeding and people with immunodeficiency.”

The procedure to get vaccinated starts by recipients undergoing screening by having their temperatures taken, and then sanitising their hands before entering the administration area. Then, they will move their way through a series of steps, detailed below:

Step 1: Register

Step 2: Record weight and blood pressure

Step 3: Pass the screening process by have their medical history and risk assessment recorded and then signing a consent to receive the vaccine

Step 4: Wait for vaccination

Step 5: Vaccination

Step 6: Rest for 30 minutes, while being observed for symptoms. Then scan the official Line account “หมอพร้อม” (“Doctor Ready”)

Step 7: Pass a final check before receiving a document confirming vaccination

Pichet says health workers will follow up with vaccine recipients after 1,7, and 30 days from being vaccinated to monitor any adverse reactions.

Those who are set to receive their second jab will have appointments made for them. Those who receive the Sinovac vaccine will be scheduled to have their second doses 2 to 4 weeks after the first. AstraZeneca vaccine receivers will be scheduled for their second doses 10 to 12 weeks after the first.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket police officer charged with attempted murder for shooting and critically injuring a noodle vendor | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siamrath

The drunk, off-duty police officer in Phuket who has caught on camera shooting and beating a noodle vendor on Bangla Road is now facing attempted murder charges as well as charges of carrying a firearm in public without a necessary reason and firing a weapon in a public area. The commander of the Phuket police station said he ordered investigators to prosecute the officer Pornthep Channarong with every criminal charge that can be applied.

The officer had gotten into an altercation just before dawn yesterday and shot a young vendor who was walking by. Surveillance camera footage show the 25 year old suddenly falling to the ground after being shot. The officer walks up and shoots the vendor at a close range, but it appears the second shot did not hit the vendor. The officer also slapped the vendor in the face, picked him up and shoved him over, and then kicked him as he lay on the ground.

The vendor has a 4 year old daughter and 3 month old son. His wife says normally he works as a motorbike driver, but he was helping his mother selling noodles. He was shot while he was walking back from collecting a noodle bowl, she says. The vendor is in critical condition and being cared for at Vachira Phuket Hospital’s intensive care unit. He’s in need of Type B blood.

“For his condition, the doctor told me that the bullet went through his lung. He lost a lot of blood. We need a lot of Type B blood for him.”

A disciplinary investigation into the incident was launched by police and Pornthep was officially dismissed from the Royal Thai Police force. Region 8 Police Commander Kitrat Panpetch says the incident does not reflect the police force in Phuket.

“The incident was caused by an officer who did something wrong that our organisation does not want. We are a big organisation with more than 200,000 officers under our control. Our officers are not all bad like this.”

Phuket Provincial Police Commander Pornsak Nuannu says he has reminded the police chiefs across the island to discuss reasons for carrying firearms in public.

“Carrying firearms is to prevent any type of crime that may happen, not to commit a crime by themselves like this incident. If I see any police doing such a thing, I will decisively proceed in terms of both officer discipline and criminal charges.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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