Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Bangkok fire: Sheffield man's compensation 'disappointing'

A Sheffield man who was badly injured in a fire in a Thai nightclub has called the level of compensation ordered by the court "disappointing".

On Tuesday, two people were jailed and ordered to pay £162,000 (8.7m baht) in compensation over the fire in Bangkok in 2009 which killed 67 people.

Oliver Smart, 33, suffered severe burns in the blaze at the Santika Club.

His lawyers said compensation payments could be shared among relatives of the dead and the 100 people who were hurt.

Clive Garner, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, said: "We have no information at this early stage as to how this [money] will be shared between the victims.

"This is a pitiful sum and is clearly insufficient to compensate those who have suffered serious injuries and the dozens of families who lost loved ones in this terrible incident."

'Held accountable'

The fire broke out in the Santika Club in the early hours of 1 January 2009, when up to 1,000 people were inside.

On Tuesday, club owner Wisuk Sejsawat was sentenced to three years in prison, as was Boonchu Laosrinak, who was responsible for pyrotechnics at the club.

Image caption Oliver Smart said he would need medical attention for the rest of his life as a result of his injuries

The compensation order was made as part of the criminal case. Mr Smart is pursuing a separate civil case.

He was pulled from the club by emergency services and was treated for burns to his body, face, hands and back in a hospital in Thailand.

He then received treatment at the Northern General Hospital in Sheffield and believes he will be on constant medication.

He said: "I'm relieved that at last someone is going to be held accountable for what happened.

"However, it is disappointing to see how much those responsible have been asked to pay the victims.

"My own claim for my injuries has been valued at around the same amount that the court has ordered to be paid in total to all of the victims and the families of those that died."

Those killed died from burns, smoke inhalation or crush injuries as people struggled to escape.

Up to 1,000 people were in the building at the time of the fire.

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