Factory blast at Map Ta Phut (updated)

Factory blast at Map Ta Phut (updated)

The casualty toll of the explosion and fire at a petrochemical factory on Map Ta Phut industrial estate has risen significantly with 12 confirmed dead and 129 injured.

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Smoke rises over a over a petrochemical factory at Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong province Saturday afternoon after an explosion triggered a major fire.

Afternoon update

Twelve people were killed and 129 hurt in the explosion and fire at a petrochemical factory at the Map Ta Phut industrial estate in Rayong province on Saturday, Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon confirmed on Sunday.

Mr Surawit said of the 12 killed, nine died in the explosion at a factory owned by Bangkok Synthethics Co (BSC), two at Bangkok-Rayong Hospital and one at Rayong Hospital.

Of the 129 injured, 99 had been released and 30 were still undergoing treatment – seven at Rayong Hospital, five at Map Ta Phut Hospital, 17 at Bangkok-Rayong Hospital, and one at Queen Sirikit Hospital.

Mr Surawit said the costs of medical treatment for the injured will be taken care of by the government under three healthcare schemes.

Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti said he had ordered the closure of the factory where the explosion occurred. He has also instructed other factories in the industrial estate to recheck their security systems since the operations of more than half of them concern chemicals.

casualty toll – the number of deaths and/or injuries จำนวนผู้บาดเจ็บล้มตาย
industrial estate
– an area of land where industrial companies have their buildings นิคมอุตสาหกรรม
release – to let someone leave a place where they have been kept, in this case, a hospital ปล่อยตัว
scheme – a plan that is developed by a government or large organisation in order to provide a particular service for people  แผนการ โครงการ
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
operation – an activity which is planned to achieve something การดำเนินการ
concern – to involve;  to be an important or necessary part or result of something เกี่ยวพัน, พัวพัน

Morning story

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Three killed in factory explosion

Thousands evacuated near Industrial Estate to escape fire's toxic gases


RAYONG: At least three people were killed and about 50 people injured when an explosion and fire broke out at a petrochemical factory on Map Ta Phut industrial estate.

Thousands of people were evacuated from nearby factories and communities in a three kilometre radius of the estate to prevent them from inhaling toxic gases.

The explosion occurred at a unit of Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST) at about 3.45pm, followed by a fire that sent thick black smoke into the sky.

The search for victims continued Saturday night, health authorities said.

Most of the dead and injured were workers and mechanics at the factory.

They suffered from inhaling toxic gases, burns and wounds from the blast.

Rayong Governor Senee Jittakasem declared the industrial estate and surrounding area, covering 30 communities, a disaster zone to facilitate the emergency operation.

The governor also instructed people in 10 communities near the estate to evacuate, although the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand (IEAT) confirmed that air-monitoring stations in the area detected no irregularities in air quality.

Firefighters used foam to douse the blaze. It took more than four hours to get the fire under control.

Mr Senee said an initial investigation found that the blast occurred when workers were putting toluene, a type of chemical widely used as an industrial feedstock and as a solvent, into a tank.

The blast ignited a fire that ravaged part of the factory but did not spread to nearby factories. However, some buildings at adjacent plants were damaged by the blast, said IEAT governor Verapong Chaiperm.

Deputy Public Health Minister Surawit Khonsomboon said toluene could cause serious health effects if a person inhaled a large amount of it. Exposure to even a small amount would cause minor ailments such as breathing difficulty, dizziness and vomiting.

trigger – to cause ก่อให้เกิด กระตุ้น
– to cause to leave a place because it is not safe เคลื่อนย้ายออกจาก
toxic – poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment  เป็นพิษ
industrial estate – an area of land where industrial companies have their buildings นิคมอุตสาหกรรม
injured – hurt in an accident or attack ได้รับบาดเจ็บ
community – the people living in one particular area ชุมชน
radius – a particular distance in all directions from a central point รัศมี
inhale – to breathe in สูดลมหายใจ
search – looking somewhere or through something carefully in order to find someone/something การค้นหา
victim – someone who has been harmed, injured or killed as the result of a crime เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
authorities – people who have the power to make decisions or enforce the law เจ้าหน้าที่ผู้มีอำนาจ
wound – an injury in which your skin or flesh is damaged บาดแผล
blast – an explosion การระเบิด
declare – to announce officially ประกาศ
surrounding – all around a place  บริเวณรอบๆ
disaster – something very bad that happens and causes a lot of damage or kills a lot of people  ความหายนะ 
zone – an area that has an important or typical feature; an area where a particular activity is allowed or not allowed พื้นที่, บริเวณ, เขต
facilitate – to make it possible or easier for something to happen ทำให้สะดวกขึ้น
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
operation – a planned activity involving a lot of people, especially soldiers, police officers, rescue workers, etc. การปฏิบัติการ
instruct – to tell somebody to do something, especially in a formal or official way สั่ง
monitor – to regular check or keep track of ตรวจ, ติดตาม, เฝ้าสังเกต
detect – to find or prove that something is present using scientific methods พบ
irregularity – something that is not according to what is expected ความผิดปกติ
quality – the standard of something when it is compared to other things like it; how good or bad something is คุณภาพ
douse – to make a fire stop burning by pouring water or foam over it สาดน้ำหรือของเหลว
blaze – a large fire that cause a lot of damage เพลิง
initial – early; first  เบื้องต้น
investigation – the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
feedstock – a basic material from which a product is manufactured or made; raw material วัตถุดิบ
solvent – a substance, especially a liquid, that can dissolve another substance ตัวละลาย
ignite – to (cause to) start burning or explode ก่อไฟ, จุด, จุดไฟ
ravage – to destroy something or damage it very badly ทำให้เสียหาย, ทำลาย, ล้างผลาญ
spread – to (cause to) cover, reach or have an effect on a wider or increasing area or number of people แพร่กระจาย, แพร่กระจายไปทั่ว
adjacent - very near, next to, or touching ติดกัน
plant – a factory that produces power or processes chemicals, etc. โรงงาน
exposure –  the state of being put into a situation in which something harmful or dangerous might affect you การสัมผัส, การเปิดรับ
minor – not important; small; having little influence or effect เล็กน้อย
ailment – an illness อาการป่วย, โรคทางกาย
dizziness – feeling as if everything is spinning around you and that you are not able to balance เวียนศีรษะ
vomit – to empty the contents of the stomach through the mouth อาเจียน

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