Pattaya Daily News

30 March 2013 :: 16:03:30 pm 73412

Raging Rayong Factory Fire Causes Mass Exodus

A huge fire at a rubber glove factory in Rayong triggered a mass evacuation of 280 factory workers and 1,000 area residents. Officials feared a potential explosion of hazardous chemicals. No one was injured as 20 fire trucks battled the blaze, which took two hours to extinguish.
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RAYONG – March 29, 2013 [Pattaya Daily News]; At 12:20 a.m., a report of a fire erupting at a glove factory was received by Pol. Lt. Capt. Ekarat Loha, detective officer of the shift, Pluankdang police station. He informed his commander and sheriff Mr. Wongtep Khemwirat, who also went to the scene with police to coordinate safety operations.

The fire erupted at the factory of Master Gloves industry Limited, number 25, moo 1, Klongnoi Road, Maenamku, Pluankdang, Rayong.

When officers reached the factory, there was black smoke filling the sky. The factory’s 280 workers escaped in panic and disorder, but no one was injured.

Officers coordinated to move people out of the area because of the danger of an explosion. The burning factory contained 7 tons of LPG, 600 kg of Clorine, and globes of chemical solution.

Police and fire officials ordered the evacuation of the factory workers and thousands of area residents to areas beyond 2 km. It was estimated that the radius of the explosion would be about 2 km if all the chemicals ignited in a huge blast.

The police and the sheriff coordinated the fire-fighting efforts with the fire departments of Amata industrial estate, Maenamku SAO (sub district organization) Mabyangporn; and the fire trucks from Eastern Seaboard Real Estate, and Hemarach Chonburi real estate, and nearby organizations.

There were a total 20 fire trucks, including foam fire trucks, with water injection trucks, to help each other fight the fire. But at the time there was strong wind, so the fire was not easily stopped and still kept burning. Firefighters took more than 2 hours to control the fire, which damaged 70 percent of the building.

According to the factory workers, the fire started while the 268 workers were on their lunch break. Some of them heard the sound of a short circuit coming from the enormous pile of rubber gloves store that was covered with canvas at the side of the factory.

It created a fire that spread and engulfed the building, and made the iron roof structure catch fire and burn, and then collapse to the ground. The fire also spread to nearby rubber trees, and 10 rais of rubber plants that area residents had grown, which got damaged.

Mr. Issaratep Tepnarin, the factory manager, said that the company was a rubber gloves company that sold the rubber gloves locally and also for export. The total company area was 16 rais, with the factory building occupying 9 rais.

The fire had ignited during lunch time, and no one got injured or died. He expected that the fire was caused by a short circuit, and the damage would be between 50 to 80 million baht. The company had insurance, but he could not immediately provide the details.

Sheriff Wongtep Khemwirat said he knew that if the hazardous flammable substances had exploded, especially the LPG; the radius of the blast would be around 2 km. So he ordered the evacuation of more than 1,000 people to areas beyond the radius.

Authorities will start to investigate the cause of the fire and coordinate with the forensic authority to determine the real cause of the fire.

Reporter : Nattaphummint   Photo : Nattaphummint   Category : Community News

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