Today, Pattaya Provincial Court released “Sia B” – the 27 year old owner of Mountain B pub – on bail for 300,000 baht. He was arrested on Saturday following the tragic fire that struck Mountain B pub in Sattahip district of Chon Buri province on Friday, killing 15 people in total and injuring 40 more.
Sia B was released on the condition he must wear a electronic monitoring bracelet, must not tamper with the evidence “or cause any other mischief.”
The court originally authorised Sia B’s detention for 12 days from August 8 – 19 due to the seriousness of the accusations made against him. The accused’s relatives subsequently filed a petition for his temporary release for 100,000 baht.
The court granted Sia B bail for 300,000 baht today under the understanding he complies with bail conditions. He must present to court three more times after successfully complying with three rounds of bail.
Sia B is facing charges such as negligence causing death and opening an entertainment venue without a license, under Section 291 and Section 59 of the Criminal Code and Section 26 of the Entertainment Place Act of 1966 respectively.
Mountain B pub did not have a license, was open past the hours specified by law and did not have fire insurance. Sia B was arrested last month for opening the venue illegally, but somehow the venue opened again.
Cheap, flammable sound absorption panels which caused the fire to rip through the venue in seconds and produced billowing smoke are thought to be the reason the fire claimed so many lives and injured many more. The fire would not spread so quickly if the owner had spent 200 baht more on each panel for non-flammable panels, according to experts.
There were 50 people inside the venue cramming out of one small door at the front and many people could not make it out in time.