Prime minister fast-tracks aid for firework warehouse blast victims

Image courtesy of Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, along with Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, toured the site of a devastating fireworks warehouse explosion in Narathiwat yesterday. The visit aimed to expedite the rehabilitation process for victims and address housing issues caused by the unfortunate incident.

Chan-o-cha journeyed to Muno, a village in Sungai Kolok district, to evaluate first-hand the circumstances of those affected by the blast and subsequent fires. The Prime Minister assured the victims that financial support from the government, supplemented by private contributions, would be forthcoming.

The Office of the Prime Minister is in the process of evaluating whether additional funds should be allocated to support the recovery effort.

In a push to restore some semblance of normalcy for the victims, Prayut instructed local authorities to expedite the processes with the utmost urgency, to resolve the housing issues that have emerged in the wake of the explosion.

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During his visit, the Prime Minister conveyed his sympathy to those grieving the loss of loved ones and reiterated his commitment to providing necessary assistance to all those affected.

Anupong explained to the press that plans were underway for significant land reforms in Muno. These reforms include restructuring the densely populated and recently inundated community and rehabilitating areas directly affected by the blast.

Upon enquiry into the adequacy of the allocated budget for supporting the survivors of this unfortunate blast, Anupong unfalteringly confirmed that the government would exhaust all avenues to garner additional financial aid for the victims.

“It is against the law to provide an amount of money which is beyond the office’s jurisdiction to manage. The government is trying its best (to compensate the survivors), especially the families of deceased victims,” stated Anupong.

Questions later arose concerning the owners of the firework warehouse, who are currently believed to be in Malaysia. The owners, Sompong Nakul, 42 years old, and his spouse, Piyanuch Peungwirawat, have reportedly evaded inquiries into their potential political connections. In response, Anupong assured the public that investigations are ongoing, and ‘everyone will face the legal consequences of their actions, regardless of their status.’

The explosion, which occurred on July 29 in Muno, had grave consequences: causing the death of 12 people, injuring 121, and damaging 292 homes. The warehouse’s owners, who were summoned for questioning, have so far failed to report to law enforcement agents, reports Bangkok Post.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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