EARTH Thailand

Rubber factory fire leaves residents gasping for breath

Bangkok Post 05 February 2018

TRANG: Seven tambons in Trang's Kantang district have been declared a disaster zone amid health concerns for people in local communities following a huge fire at a rubber glove factory.

Residents of 41 villages in seven tambons have reported suffering respiratory problems caused by inhalation of smoke from the fire.

Provincial governor Siripat Patkul signed an order declaring the area a natural disaster zone to enable state agencies to draw on funds to assist them. 

The governor said rubber gloves were stockpiled at the factory. Even though the fire, which broke out on Sunday, was brought under control, because of the nature of the blaze it would be some time before it was completely extinguished. 

In the meantime, people with breathing problems have been advised to relocate to other areas and authorities were doing their best to alleviate the problem. 

The fire began at the rubber glove factory of Thai Kong Co in tambon Khuan Thani, Kantang district, early on Sunday. It engulfed a warehouse storing new rubber gloves and sending a pall of thick black smoke over the area.

Mr Siripat said the warehouse was completely destroyed and structural damage was estimated at 100 million baht. The loss from products stockpiled there was still being assessed.

According to the company's own information sheet, Thai Kong was founded by investors from Bangkok with registered capital of 625 million baht. It is the first manufacturer of rubber gloves for medical use in Trang.

The factory has about 2,000 employees, with the capacity to produce 4 billion pairs of rubber gloves annually from about 30,000 tonnes of latex.