Sun, December 05, 2021

in-focus

One dead in toxic Bang Phli inferno, THB700m damages


The inferno at Ming Din Chemicals, a Taiwanese-owned foam and plastic pellets factory in Samut Prakan’s Bang Phli Yai area, had still not been completely put out as of 7pm on Monday.

The fire, which was sparked by an explosion at about 3am, has killed an 18-year-old rescuer who tripped and fell while fleeing the fire and injured close to 60 others. The damage, so far, has been estimated at 700 million baht.

Investigators have yet to determine what caused the explosion.

Residents in the 5-kilometre radius of the fire have been told to stay away from the site because of toxic smoke. More than 10 types of chemicals, including styrene monomer, a precursor chemical for foam, and polystyrene which produces styrene and benzene when exposed to high heat, are in the fumes. Benzene is a toxic substance and found to be carcinogenic, and exposure can dizziness, nausea, unconsciousness and palpitation. Long-term inhalation can lead to leukaemia.

The factory had earned a licence to set up operations in Soi Kin Kaew 21 in 1989, when there were no residences in the area. But since then, many housing estates have been built in the area.

Meanwhile, Prakob Vivitjinda, director-general of the Department of Industrial Works, said a second tank in the factory contains 20,000 litres of chemicals, not 500,000 litres as previously reported.

Published : July 05, 2021

By : The Nation