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Just how many hazardous chemicals are going through Laem Chabang port?

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Just how many hazardous chemicals are going through Laem Chabang port? | The Thaiger

“The containers were loaded with “dolls and toys” and there are no chemical substances present.”

That was the first explanation we heard after the fire that happened last Saturday, May 25, when containers from the KMTC Hongkong burst into flames at Laem Chabang Port, south east of Bangkok. The port area is just to the north of Pattaya on the eastern seaboard.

Firefighters spent nearly 18 hours battling the confounding blaze as it spread through the containers on the ship billowing toxic fumes and plumes of smoke, causing 228 people, including nearby residents, to be rushed to hospital with burns, eye irritation and breathing difficulties.

Financial losses, still not fully accounted for, are estimated at well over 100 million baht, according to a report in the Bangkok Post.

When a 15 kilometre radius was declared around the site as a ‘red zone’ local Thais became rightfully suspicious that a few dolls and toys going up in smoke could cause so much disruption.

Later it was declared that the dolls and toys were actually calcium hypochlorite, a flammable and potentially dangerous chemical. But authorities had to analyse the chemicals that had caused so much damage and smoke because there was no record of it being in the containers on the ship.

Calcium hypochlorite is widely used in water treatment systems, but the substance can release dangerous chlorine gases when burning.

It is classified as a Class 5 Hazardous Product, in a list of nine hazardous substances.

The Port director reported that the ship was carrying 676 containers from China and that the KMTC Hong Kong had failed to declare the chemical was in the containers.

When the ship arrived at Laem Chabang, 463 containers were offloaded with the remaining containers, including the 13 containers (the ones that caught fire), designated for delivery to an address in Samut Prakan.

According to records, the freighter originated in South Korea and made stops at Shanghai and Hong Kong before arrival in the Gulf of Thailand port. An investigation indicates that the 13 containers held 325 tonnes of the calcium hypochlorite.

Investigators and directors at the port say that the owners of the ship must be held responsible for not declaring the hazardous contents of the containers.

If not for the fire, port officials say, the illegally transported goods would likely have reached their destination without anyone knowing. Now the question is how many of these containers passing through the Bangkok port, full of hazardous chemicals, are passing through without being declared or detected?

Currently, the handling of dangerous goods at Laem Chabang Port is carried out by a private firm under a port authority contractual arrangement.

Following last week’s fire, the assistant director at Laem Chabang port says that all vessels tying up at the port must make a full declaration of materials and goods being carried aboard.

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Bangkok

Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12

The Thaiger

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Royal Barge Procession on Bangkok’s Chao Phraya postponed to December 12 | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: AFP

His Majesty the King has ordered the Royal Barge Procession to be postponed to December 12, originally scheduled for October 24, as recommended by the organising committee chaired by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha. Deputy PM Wissanu Krea-ngarm told Parliament yesterday about the official postponement.

After ten rehearsals and one dress rehearsal, he said the organising committee agreed that, if the procession were to proceed on October 24, the water conditions in the Chao Phraya River, currents and weather conditions would not be optimal. The committee then reported its concerns to HM the King, who subsequently agreed that the event be postponed until December 12, the beginning of the winter in Bangkok and the most settled weather of the year, according to Thai PBS World.

The committee will meet again on October 21 and a formal announcement will be made about the new schedule, said Wissanu, adding that December would be perfect timing for the event as there will be little chance of rain.

The Royal Barge Procession is the official finale of the King’s Coronation ceremony held in May this year. Their Majesties the King and Queen will ride on one of the 52 barges in the procession.

SOURCE: Thai PBS World

Here’s an example of what it will look like…

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Bangkok

BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok

May Taylor

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BTS thief and credit card skimmers arrested in Bangkok | The Thaiger

Tourist police in Bangkok have arrested a thief accused of pick-pocketing tourists on the city’s BTS Skytrain, along with an Indonesian couple charged with credit card fraud and card skimming.

Kasem Masan Jantaro, a 44 year old food vendor in the Huay Kwang market, says he started pick-pocketing when business became too slow for him to adequately support his family. The Skytrain security team alerted the police after several reports of tourists being pick-pocketed on the trains. Victims described the thief as middle-aged, with pale skin.

Kasem was arrested while trying to flee the scene at the Asok BTS station on Wednesday and was found to have 4,600 baht in cash and four stolen credit cards in his possession. Thai Residents reports that Kasem was previously prosecuted for drugs offences in 2015 and for robbery in 2016.

In a separate arrest, Bangkok police detained 32 year old Alexander Eddilias and 33 year old Estie Rusdiana, an Indonesian couple charged with being in possession of fake credit cards, stolen credit cards, and skimming devices used to steal credit card information.

The arrest comes after several banks notified police of transactions made using fake cards and the couple were tracked to a room in the Pratunam area of Bangkok. Officers also seized a computer, a skimming device, twenty two fake credit cards, two stolen credit cards, and twenty four credit card receipts.

The suspects say they bought the information on the Dark Web. The information was then recorded in the magnetic strip of the fake cards, which were used to make purchases worth approximately 2 million baht.

SOURCE: Thai Residents

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ASEAN

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit

May Taylor

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Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | The Thaiger

November 4 and 5 have been approved as official holidays for Bangkok and Nonthaburi as a result of the 35th Asean Summit and Related Summits being held at Impact Arena Muang Thong Thani in Bangkok.

Deputy government spokeswoman Traisulee Traisoranakul confirmed yesterday that the measure was being taken in an effort to alleviate traffic problems in both areas during the summit, adding that other state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand could implement the holidays for their subsidiaries at their own discretion and on a case-by-case basis.

“Government agencies in Bangkok and Nonthaburi will stop working on these dates. Meanwhile, state enterprises and the Bank of Thailand will consider announcing November 4 and 5 as holidays for their subsidiaries on case-by-case basis.”

“However, government agencies which have a necessity to provide urgent or previously scheduled services to their clients that cannot be postponed may stay open on November 4 and 5, depending on the decision by the heads of these departments.”

Some other public or regional holidays coming up…

Bangkok and Nonthaburi to get 2 extra holidays during ASEAN summit | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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