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The high court on Monday upheld a lower court’s ruling that City Hall’s negligence contributed to the deaths of 67 people in a nightclub fire eight years ago on New Year’s Eve.
In its ruling, the Supreme Administrative Court ordered the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration to pay a total of 5.7 million baht to victims and families of those who died at Santika in an incident ranked as one of the worst fire tragedies in Thai history.
“I am happy about this verdict, but it’s incomparable to losing my son,” Esther Laopikanon, whose son Mark Laopikanon died in the fire, told reporters at the court. “Nowadays I still light candles and make merits for my son.”
Esther was one of a dozen people to file a civil suit against City Hall in 2009, accusing it of failing to inspect fire safety equipment at Santika nightclub, which burned down shortly after midnight on Jan. 1, 2009, after a pyrotechnic effect malfunctioned.