1 killed in Thai factory blast that was felt at Bangkok airport
Blast at Thai factory shakes Bangkok airport, area evacuated
BANGKOK: One person died and another 29 people were injured after a massive explosion at a factory on the outskirts of Bangkok early on Monday (Jul 5).
Local media reported that the initial explosion shook the terminal building at Suvarnabhumi Airport, setting off alarms at Bangkok's main international airport.
Airport officials said that no flights had been cancelled but offered no other immediate details.
Firefighters could be seen in photos from Thai media climbing through twisted steel wreckage to get their hoses close enough to the flames as they fought to control the blaze.
Other photos showed nearby homes with their windows blown out and wreckage in the streets, with black smoke billowing over the area even hours later.
The fire broke out at around 3am at the foam and plastic pallet manufacturing factory in a south-eastern area just outside Bangkok near Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Authorities ordered the evacuation of an area 5km around the scene amid fears that thousands of litres of leaking chemicals may cause more explosions.
Evacuation centres were set up in a school and a government office for those forced from their homes.
"At first it felt like lightning. After that, I heard something drop loudly, and for a while the house started shaking like there was an earthquake," said Baitong Nisarat, a resident.
Local disaster authorities said 70 houses were damaged and fires were still being fought nine hours after the explosion in the early hours of Monday. The cause of the blast had yet to be determined.
“We are trying to look for the injured,” Volunteer rescue worker Anyawut Phoampai told Thailand public TV station TPBS. “But the flames are quite high so it takes quite an effort.”
He said that rescuers were also fanning out around the area to help people who reported being injured by falling debris.