Oxygen tank explosion kills worker and damages Bangkok home

Photo courtesy of KhaoSod

An explosion from an oxygen tank tragically claimed the life of a young man, causing extensive damage to a two-storey house and instilling fear among residents in the Nong Khang Phlu area of Bangkok.

Police were alerted at around noon yesterday, May 22, to an explosion in Soi Phetkasem 77/8, Nong Khang Phlu, Nong Khaem District, Bangkok. Upon reaching the scene, officers, including Wichirawit Wisutsereephan and Kong Sak Pannoi, along with forensic teams and volunteers from the Ruamkatanyu Foundation, discovered the catastrophic aftermath.

The explosion site was a two-storey house that operated as an oxygen tank wholesale business. The ground floor was used to store oxygen tanks. A pickup truck with a high cage at the back was parked in front, loaded with over ten oxygen tanks. The blast had scattered debris across the area and left black soot marks from the explosion, causing significant damage to the house and its awning.

Near the rear of the pickup, the body of 30 year old Pantit from Maha Sarakham Province, was found. He was a daily wage worker. Pantit was found lying face down, grievously injured, with his body torn in half. Despite being critically injured, he was still alive and responsive upon discovery but succumbed to his injuries shortly after.

The business owner revealed that the operation involved collecting oxygen tanks from industrial factories to store at the house before refilling them and delivering them back to the factories. The explosion occurred while workers were unloading empty tanks from the pickup. The exact cause of the explosion remains unknown, although it is suspected that residual oxygen in one of the tanks might have caused it.

Mana Khenpak, a volunteer from the Boonwipha 11 base, reported that local witnesses saw the deceased handling the tanks when one suddenly hit the ground, triggering the explosion.

Neighbour’s testimony

A neighbour living next door recounted hearing the explosion around 11am, which shook their house. They promptly evacuated everyone from the building, fearing another explosion. The neighbour mentioned that the oxygen storage business had been operating for over ten years, and there had always been concerns about the potential for such an incident. Discussions with the business owner about safety measures and possibly relocating the operation are anticipated, reported KhaoSod.

Sakaowduen Phuttharom, a volunteer from the Ruamkatanyu Foundation, described the rescue efforts.

“When officials arrived, they found the injured man with his body severed. Limbs were scattered 20 to 30 metres from the explosion site. He still had a pulse, so we attempted urgent resuscitation, but unfortunately, he did not survive.”

Investigators plan to question those involved and send the body for an autopsy at Siriraj Hospital’s forensic department to determine the exact cause of death before releasing the body to the family for religious rites.

Bangkok NewsThailand News

Nattapong Westwood

Nattapong Westwood is a Bangkok-born writer who is half Thai and half Aussie. He studied in an international school in Bangkok and then pursued journalism studies in Melbourne. Nattapong began his career as a freelance writer before joining Thaiger. His passion for news writing fuels his dedication to the craft, as he consistently strives to deliver engaging content to his audience.

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