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One dead in Thai gas storage tank fire
Published on: Saturday, May 11, 2024
By: AFP
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One dead in Thai gas storage tank fire
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a gas storage tank at the Maptaphut Industrial Port in Rayong province, eastern Thailand.
BANGKOK: One person has died in a massive blaze on an industrial park housing a gas storage facility in eastern Thailand with hundreds ordered to evacuate, officials said.

The fire in a gas storage tank at the Maptaphut Industrial Port in Rayong province started around 10:35am local (0335 GMT), according to officials.

Four people were hurt in the blaze, with one person later dying of their injuries in hospital, the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) said in a statement.

Video shared by local media showed dense clouds of black smoke erupting from the storage tank, with the roaring flames leaving dark fumes hanging over the industrial park.

Attaya Attaya Nual-Uthai, head of Rayong province’s disaster prevention and mitigation office, said “about 200 people had been evacuated from the area” without providing more detail.

IEAT said it was not clear what had started the conflagration.

Rescue vehicles from nearby provinces were called in to help by pumping seawater onto the fire, IEAT said, joining eight fire engines and four water trucks.

There has been a noticeable increase in reported fires in Thailand recently, coinciding with a vicious heatwave sweeping South and Southeast Asia.

However, industrial accidents are not uncommon in the kingdom where safety laws are notoriously lax.

A 2022 undersea pipe leak saw tonnes of crude oil escape into the sea in Rayong, with thousands of litres washing ashore prompting a huge clean-up operation. 

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