Bangkok Synthetics (BSC) Fire Kills 12 in Explosion at Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate, Rayong, Thailand
There are 3 articles referenced in this posting.
From The Bangkok Post:
Twelve people were killed and 129 hurt in the explosion and fire at a petrochemical factory at the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong province on Saturday, Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon confirmed on Sunday.
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra travelled to Map Ta Phut on Sunday for talks, and visited victims of the explosion at the hospital.
Mr Surawit said of the 12 killed, nine died in the explosion at a factory owned by Bangkok Synthethics Co (BSC), two at Bangkok-Rayong Hospital and one at Rayong Hospital.
Of the 129 injured, 99 had been released and 30 were still undergoing treatment – seven at Rayong Hospital, five at Map Ta Phut Hospital, 17 at Bangkok-Rayong Hospital, and one at Queen Sirikit Hospital.
Mr Surawit said the costs of medical treatment for the injured will be taken care of by the government under three healthcare schemes.
Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti said he had ordered the closure of the factory where the explosion occurred. He has also instructed other factories in the industrial estate to recheck their security systems since the operations of more than half of them concern chemicals.
Verapong Chaiperm, governor of the Industrial Estates Authority of Thailand, said the fire at the factory was extinguished early Sunday. The damage had yet to be assessed, he said.
Kessarin Raksasang, an environment officer at BSC, said toluene might have caused the fire after being exposed to excessive heat.
Before the fire, the factory was closed for repairs, she said.
Early today, Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra visited the industrial estate and met the people injured in the explosion.
Ms Yingluck has also set up a tripartite committee to examine possible toxic contamination in the area. The committee comprises experts from the Industry Ministry, the Pollution Control Department and representatives from local communties.
Thousands of people in 12 communities around Map Ta Phut were evacuated yesterday.
From the Bangkok Post: Locals slam response to factory blast
Announcement on Fire Incident at its Facility in Maptaphut
Rayong, 6 May 2012: Chaiyot Wongphyat, Managing Director of BST Elastomers Company Limited, commented on the fire incident at its facility in Maptaphut Industrial Estate in Rayong on 5th of May 2012. The fire broke out at toluene vessel inside its facility at around 1520 hours. Emergency response efforts were immediately activated and the fire was under control at around 1800 hours. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. At the time of the incident, during a heavy storm, the facility was in full shut down and the process had been previously cleaned using toluene to dry out moisture. This is the last step in the shutdown procedure during a product grade switching process.
Toluene is a solvent used in synthetic rubber production and it is not classified as toxic or carcinogenic. Smoke or toluene fumes may cause irritation to eyes, skin, and the respiratory system, and may cause sleepiness, dizziness, and vomiting.
Pinit Asvasaengrat M.D., Chief of Health Promotion and Occupational Medicine Center of Bangkok Rayong Hospital said there are 11 fatalities and 141 injury cases. All injured were rushed to the hospital and received full medical care, and he confirms the level of toluene released from this incident is not harmful and not carcinogenic but can cause irritation and rash.
Chaiyot said the company deeply regrets the unfortunate incident and will take responsibility for medical care and the impact to the surrounded communities. A 24-hour call center is set up (038 698 698 x 5) together with mobile medical units to support the nearby communities.
BST Elastomers Company Limited produces synthetic rubbers for automobile tyres, automobile parts, shoe soles, sporting goods, and other rubber products.