Evacuation ordered after the explosion of a Thai chemical factory

Bangkok — A massive explosion at a chemical plant on the outskirts of Bangkok at the beginning of Monday killed at least one person, injured dozens and damaged many homes, while fearing and adding toxic gas. Extensive evacuation was urged because of the possibility of. display.

Thick clouds of black smoke began to swirl from the scene later that day. Winds began to blow toward the city center, and shelters were set up in schools and government offices for displaced people.

A fire broke out at a foamed plastic pellet manufacturing plant near Suvarnabhumi Airport on the outskirts of Bangkok around 3 am, and the explosion blew the windows of surrounding houses and rained from the air.

The blast was heard for miles, and surveillance videos from nearby homes captured bright flashes and booms, after which shock waves damaged the home and the neighboring home.

The main flames at the Mindy Chemical Plant were controlled by the morning, but the huge tank containing the chemical styrene monomer continued to burn, said local disaster prevention official Chailit Swanna Kitpon. Authorities said many styrene monomers were stored on-site.

The helicopter attempted to navigate in black smoke thick enough to dump the flame retardant into the fire, with little apparent success.

The Prime Minister’s residence ordered rain clouds to sow if possible, hoping that the downpour would help drive pollutants out of the sky, leading to toxic chemicals that pollute urban rivers and canals. Overturned the order on concerns.

Officials said it was confirmed that 62 people were injured and one died, including 12 people involved in fire and rescue operations.

Styrene monomer, a dangerous liquid chemical used in the manufacture of disposable foam plates, cups, and other products, can generate toxic gases when ignited. Authorities are trying to expel all people from the area, including doctors and patients from nearby major hospitals where many casualties were first treated, fearing the possibility of fumes and explosions, according to Mr. Chailit. That is.

The chemical itself also releases the neurotoxin styrene gas. It immobilizes a person within minutes of inhalation and can be fatal at high concentrations. Last year, a leak of styrene gas from a chemical plant in the Indian city of Visakhapatnam killed 12 people and killed more than 1,000.

Firefighters are working at the scene of a big explosion
Firefighters are working at the site of a major explosion on July 5, 2021 in Samut Prakan, Thailand. (NavaNatthong / AP photo)

Authorities are closely monitoring the air around the fire, and Pollution Control Bureau official Tarerunsak Petchswan urged those remaining nearby to close doors and windows to avoid inhaling smoke.

“People who inhale it can cause dizziness and vomiting, and in the long run they can cause cancer,” he said.

Authorities ordered evacuation of an area 5 km (3 miles) from the scene.

Firefighters could be seen in a photo from Thai media climbing the twisted steel debris of a warehouse in a complex to bring the hose close enough to the flame when fighting to control the flame. It was. The only known deadly charred body identified by authorities as an 18-year-old volunteer firefighter lay face down in the wreckage, with his head leaning against his right forearm.

The area around the factory is a mixture of old industrial parks and new housing developments built after the opening of the airport in 2006.

Jarwan Chamsopa, who lives about three kilometers (1.8 miles) from the factory, said the late-night explosion broke the windows of the house, damaged the roof and collapsed part of the ceiling. She said the windows of every house on the road were also broken.

“I was shocked when the explosion happened,” she told The Associated Press. “I came out and saw a big fire in the sky.”

She said she and her husband and mother did not evacuate until 8 am

“I wasn’t aware that it was a dangerous chemical that I had to evacuate,” she said. “I’m worried because black smoke has arrived at my house.”

There was no immediate information about the cause of the fire in the Bang Phli district and the company could not be contacted by phone.

The first explosion shook and alerted the terminal building at Suvarnabhumi, Bangkok’s main international airport.

Airport officials said no flights were canceled, but they continue to monitor the situation and are ready to “make an emergency response plan in case of an emergency.”

David Rising

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