EARTH Thailand

Map Ta Phut fire death toll rises to at least 9, 120 injured

The Nation 6 May 2012  

The death toll in the massive factory five in Map Ta Phut rose to at least 9 and 120 people were reported injured, Rayong Governor Seni Jittakasem said Sunday.

The massive fire that broke out at the Bangkok Synthetics factory in Map Ta Phut Saturday.

The governor said the blaze was put out at 1 pm Sunday.

Seni said it has been concluded that the fire started at a chemical tank of the factory, which makes synthesized rubber. The synthesized rubber is used in for making tires, auto parts, shoes' soles, rubber gloves and sports equipment.

The governor said the authorities could control the leakage of chemicals to the level that it would not severely harm the people but would still hurt the people's eyes and skin.

The governor said the Bangkok Synthetics factory was still announced off-limit zone while others factors continue to operate as usual.

The death toll was still conflicting at press time. While the governor put it as nine, Deputy Public Health Minister Dr Surawit Khonsomboon said the death toll rose to 7.

Surawit said seven people died at the scene while three died at two hospitals - one at the Rayong Provincial Hospital two others at Bankkok Rayong Hospital.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra Sunday flew on an helicopter to Rayong to inspect the factory.

Yingluck, Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit and Industry Minister Pongsawat Sawatdiwat flew on a police helicopter at the Police Aviation Department at 9:45 am to visit Map Ta Phut.

The prime minster will also visit injured workers in hospitals and hold a meeting of government agencies concerned before returning to Bangkok at 2 pm.