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LATEST: Engineers believe Samut Prakan fire caused by chemical leak



PHOTO: Council of Engineers - Council of Engineers Thailand/Screenshot Facebook

In a press conference today, the Council of Engineers of Thailand said that a chemical leak is probably the cause of Samut Prakan plastic factory fire that was just put out today after blazing for over 25 hours.

A chemic engineering professor, Anchaleeporn Waritswat Lothongkum says the leak could be of the styrene monomer or pentane.

The COE says that the Ming Dih factory contained up to 2,000 tons of chemicals, including 1,600 tons of styrene monomer, which is incredibly flammable. Thus, they are not surprised black mushroom clouds of smoke ballooned into the sky, visible from kilometres away. They add that this smoke can contaminate water resources.

Yesterday, the factory manager allegedly told police of a chemical leak, but added, helpfully, that he was not certain what leaked or how.

Professor and COE president Dr Suchatvee Suwansawat, says that the fire should only have been extinguished with firefighting foam, not water. The issue being contaminating Thailand’s water. Foam cools and coats the fuel, which is more effective at stopping a chemical fire, says the professor. Yesterday, firefighting foam and water were used to combat the fire.

Dr Suchatvee recommends the use of a “big data” database to monitor chemical levels throughout the country. Also, to actively check M2.5 and PM10 levels in case evacuations orders need to be executed quickly.



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Jack is from the USA, has a B.A. in English, and writes on a variety of topics. He lives in Thailand.

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