Chemical leak forces school closures in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand

Residents of Nakhon Pathom province are warned to stay indoors as a major chemical leak occurred at the Indorama Polyester Industries factory in Nakhon Chai Si district at 6.15am this morning.

People from miles around reported a “foul, burning stench” emanating through the sky, originating from the plastic production factory on Petchkasem Road in Khun Kaew subdistrict.

Several schools including Thammaraksa School and Mahidol University International Demonstration School have been evacuated and have announced temporary closures.

Thailand’s Pollution Control Department (PCD) and Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation launched an investigation into the leak. The department has identified the chemical as “hot oil down term DT1,” which they say is an aromatic benzene compound used as a heat exchanger in the plastic production process.

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At 10.20am, the Environment and Pollution Control Office 5 asked locals to avoid going outdoors, wear a mask at all times and see a doctor right away if they experience abnormal symptoms.

The leak can reportedly be smelt as far away as Nonthaburi province, according to one resident…

“Initially, I thought I could smell burning plastic waste. But after surveying the neighbourhood, I didn’t find anyone burning trash. Later on, I heard that there was a chemical leak from a factory in Nakhon Pathom, but it is very far away from here.”

Staff from Indorama Polyester Industries Ltd. said the leak occurred as a result of an accident at the factory at about 6.15am this morning. The staff said the leak has been fixed.

SOURCE: Thai PBS | สรยุทธ สุทัศนะจินดา

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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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