RAYONG: Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra has set up a tripartite committee to examine possible toxic contamination in the Map Ta Phut area following the chemical explosion at a petrochemical factory as the death toll rose to 12.
Ms Yingluck Sunday visited workers injured in the incident before going to Map Ta Phut industrial estate where she chaired a meeting of state agencies to discuss the blast at the Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST) factory on Saturday afternoon.
The prime minister, who was accompanied by Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidith and Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti, ordered the formation of a tripartite committee to look for toxic residues in the environment.
The committee consists of experts from the Industry Ministry, the Pollution Control Department and representatives of local communities.
The move followed mounting fears among residents and factory workers over possible contamination by hazardous substances in the air and water as a result of the blast.
Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon Sunday said 12 people were killed and 129 wounded in the accident. Nine were killed in the explosion at the BST factory; the other three died at hospital.
Sunday, 27 of the wounded were receiving treatment at Rayong, Map Ta Phut, Bangkok-Rayong and Queen Sirikit hospitals, Mr Surawit said.
Local hospitals were Sunday crowded with relatives and friends of those killed to identify and claim the bodies of their loved ones.
However, some relatives were told by hospital staff that they could not pick up the corpses, as they would be sent to Bangkok for post-mortem examinations.
Some factory workers living near the plant brought their family members to the hospital for medical check ups. (Story continues after the photos)
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