Government orders nationwide inspection of chemical warehouses

Image from Chai Wacharonke's Facebook Page

Government spokesman Chai Wacharonke announced yesterday that Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin mandated an immediate inspection of all chemical warehouses across the nation.

The directive follows a string of fires reported in recent weeks, the latest being at President Chemical Co Ltd’s warehouse in Bangkok’s Chom Thong district in the Bang Mot neighbourhood.

Locals reported the fire yesterday at 2.10am, noticing smoke billowing from the warehouse along with a potent chemical odour.

The Hazardous Materials Team of Bangkok’s Fire and Rescue Department arrived at the scene by 4am and discovered 12 barrels of leaking chemical waste.

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Nutthapong Meepokkij, Chom Thong district director, disclosed that two of the barrels contained thiourea, a compound frequently used in fertilisers, potentially posing a threat to the local water table.

According to Bang Mot Station inspector Police Lieutenant Colonel Kampol Kaewmeechai, the warehouse, established over two decades ago, had a clean record with no prior leaks.

The company also regularly conducts drills to prepare its employees for potential toxic chemical leaks.

This recent incident follows closely on the heels of a similar fire at a facility owned by Win Process Co in Rayong earlier this week, resulting in the evacuation of locals.

The government enlisted the Ministry of Industry and other relevant agencies to expedite inspections because many chemicals are heat sensitive and could potentially ignite in the current high temperatures.

The government will also devise a proactive strategy to avert future chemical leaks at such facilities, said the spokesperson. He added that the Bangkok-born prime minister is scheduled to inspect the chemical warehouse owned by Win Process Co in Rayong tomorrow.

While firefighters have managed to contain the fire to a certain extent, it hasn’t been completely extinguished as of yet.

The incident at Bangkok marks the third chemical warehouse fire this year, following a fire in Ayutthaya on February 29 and the recent one in Rayong.

Consequently, Industry Minister Pimphattra Wichaikul has instructed his permanent secretary and the Industrial Works Department to caution factories about the escalating risk of fires, reported Bangkok Post.

Thailand News

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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