By SAICHON SRINUANCHAN
The drill, at the Charumanee strategic training facility inside Burachat Camp, was held by engineering department personnel as a dress rehearsal for a scheduled visit today by a group of visitors.
Pol Colonel Chanin Imcharoenchai, of Ratchaburi police, confirmed that an explosion has occurred inside the camp in Muang Ratchaburi district. When police arrived they found that those affected by the blast had already been taken to hospital.
Sergeant Yutthapong Chankonkaen and Sergeant Major First Class Pien Tarajam, who were seriously injured by the explosion were later pronounced dead at hospital. The others being treated for injuries were named as Sergeant Major First Class Weerayuth, Sergeant Major First Class Chinchatchara, Sergeant Apiwat, Private Wanchalerm, Private Bannawut and Private Prateep.
Pol Colonel Chanin did not reveal the names of those injured from the engineering department.
Police sealed off the area and did not allow media inside the camp.
Chanin later said that the explosion ripped apart an inflatable rubber boat that those involved had been in.
Earlier reports suggested that the Army personnel were in a boat and taking part in a drill to demonstrate how to clear mines in the water. Their intention had been to show visitors their marine mine-clearing techniques.
Colonel Sirichan Ngathong, deputy spokeswoman of the Royal Thai Army, said in Bangkok that a committee had been set up to establish the cause of the accident.
The Army will take care of the medical costs of all those injured, as well as Yutthapong’s funeral and his family’s rights to compensation.