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Pattaya Daily News

05 June 2010 :: 12:06:31 pm 23892

20 Workers Hospitalised After Chemical Leak in Chon-Buri

A chemical leak at the Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon-Buri has forced the evacuation of an entire factory. Twenty workers required hospitalisation, complaining of respiratory difficulties, after potentially harmful gases were released into the factory atmosphere.
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Chon-Buri, the 5th of June 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Twenty workers from the Siam Keeper Mfg company in Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate Chon-Buri have been hospitalised due to chemical gas inhalation. The company, specialising in the production of O-rings and oil seals, closed after an extraction fan malfunction causing potentially harmful gases to be released into the factory.

According to Dr. Marut Jirasetsiri (senior medical official), the conditions were not severe but precautionary measures had been taken after several workers complained of minor respiratory irritations.

The gases leaked into the atmosphere are believed to be xylene and methyl ethyl ketone (butanone). Both chemicals are highly flammable but are not considered to pose a health risk unless exposed to extreme quantities. Butanone has been known to cause minor respiratory irritation although it is not listed on the US Environmental Protection Agency’s hazardous air pollutants list.

Siam Keeper Mfg temporarily closed the factory as a safety precaution whilst repairs to the defunct extraction fan were being made. At the time of the incident approximately 100 workers were present on the factory floor with 20 complaining of minor breathing difficulties and eye or nose irritations.

Thailand’s Permanent Secretary for Industry Mr. Witoon Simachokedee, has released a statement to the public advising that the leak had been contained and an investigation had been conducted showing the malfunction to have been the result of human error. The evacuation of the factory was purely precautionary and a resumption of trade is scheduled for Saturday.

Amata Nakorn is one of the largest industrial estates in Thailand, home to over 500 manufacturing projects involving local and international investors. The Amata group are renowned for creating community based ‘industrial cities’ that are self-serving and beneficial to the local population. Along with the park based in Chon-Buri a new development is currently being constructed in Rayong with over 100 investors already involved. Amata group also own a further two industrial parks based in Vietnam.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : Community News

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