Chemical fire at Laem Chabang port, workers evacuated

Chemical fire at Laem Chabang port, workers evacuated

PUBLISHED : 29 Aug 2023 at 18:06

Firemen continue to spray water on the blackened container of hazardous chemicals that caught fire at Laem Chabang port in Si Racha district, Chon Buri, on Tuesday. (Photo: Pongpat Wongyala)
Firemen continue to spray water on the blackened container of hazardous chemicals that caught fire at Laem Chabang port in Si Racha district, Chon Buri, on Tuesday. (Photo: Pongpat Wongyala)

A fire in a container with a cargo of hazardous chemicals at Laem Chabang port in Chon Buri province forced the evacuation of 183 workers on Tuesday, with six being treated for respiratory problems.

The fire at the JWD warehouse in tambon Thung Sukhla of Si Racha district sent thick black smoke spreading over the area. It was brought under control in about 30 minutes.

Health permanent secretary Opas Karnkawinpong said the fire began about 10am in a  shipping container stored at the dangerous goods warehouse of JWD Co. The container held a shipment of organic peroxides packed in 378 wardrobe boxes, each weighing 18 kilogrammes.

The fire gave off a strong smell. Firemen sprayed water to prevent the fumes spreading to other areas and the flames were soon brought under control, Dr Opas said.

The company evacuated 183 workers from the area. Six of them were found to be suffering respiratory problems. Medics gave first aid before they were sent to a nearby hospital.

Health officials screened 54 workers in an observation area and another 23 in the parking zone. No abnormal symptoms were found. They also provided health screening for residents of communities within a five-kilometre radius, and found nothing abnormal, Dr Opas said.

He said 100 N95 grade masks were handed out to workers in the area. Local leaders were instructed to tell residents to wear face masks all the time and be alert for any symptoms they were affected. If they had any symptoms they should immediately alert local leaders and health volunteers, who would take them to Laem Chabang Hospital.

Chon Buri governor Thawatchai Srithong led officials to inspect the scene at 2.45pm and was fully briefed. 

Organic peroxides are used in the production of polymers used to make a wide range of everyday products, from running shoes to buttons, and are very flammable.  

The fire in a container containing organic peroxides was quickly brought under control. (Photo: Pongpat Wongyala)

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