PTT urged to speed up probe into pipeline blast
KANCHANABURI: A local conservation group is calling on energy giant PTT to speed up its investigation of the gas pipe explosion in Samut Prakan and review its safety measures to prevent a recurrence.
Pinan Chotirosserani, head of the Kanchanaburi Conservation Group, said the Oct 23 blast in Samut Prakan's Bang Bo district, which killed three people and injured more than 50, has caused alarm among residents living near gas distribution pipelines in the province.
She was referring to the Thai-Myanmar gas pipeline, which was launched in 1997 to deliver imported natural gas from Myanmar's Yadana gas fields to the Electricity Generation Authority of Thailand's 2,800-megawatt powerplant in Ratchaburi.
The pipeline passes through several communities in Kanchanaburi's Thong Pha Phum, Sai Yok, and Dan Makhamtei districts, before it enters Chom Bung district in Ratchaburi.
Ms Pinan added it remains a mystery as to why the pipes were routed through Kanchanaburi when the gas could have been routed directly to Ratchaburi.
She said the explosion in Samut Prakan should have immediately prompted authorities to conduct a safety review, especially considering questions are being asked about the pipes' standards. The activist called on the government to relocate communities living along the pipeline as a precaution, with PTT shouldering the cost in addition to paying compensation to affected communities and individuals.
Meanwhile, Chachoengsao governor Maitree Traitilanont said he has asked PTT to submit the map of the province's gas distribution network, so local authorities can put markers and warnings along the routes. Mr Maitree also urged the energy company to do the same with other provinces to ensure future accidents can be avoided.