Blast at Thai factory shakes Bangkok airport, area evacuated
A massive explosion at a factory on the outskirts of Bangkok early Monday shook an airport terminal serving Thailand's capital, injuring at least 11 people and prompting the evacuation of residents from the area, authorities said. The fire broke out at around 3:00 am at a foam and plastic pallet manufacturing factory in a southeastern area just outside Bangkok near Suvarnabhumi Airport. Here's more.
Windows of nearby homes were blown out, streets were wrecked
Firefighters could be seen in photos from Thai media climbing through twisted steel wreckage to get their hoses close enough to the flames as they fought to control the blaze at the factory. Other photos also showed nearby homes with their windows blown out and wreckage in the streets with black smoke billowing over the area even hours later.
Evacuation centers were set up in a school, government office
Authorities ordered the evacuation of an area five kilometers around the scene amid fears that thousands of liters of leaking chemicals may cause more explosions. Evacuation centers were set up in a school and a government office for those forced from their homes.
We are trying to look for the injured: Rescue worker
Volunteer rescue worker Anyawut Phoampai told Thailand public TV station TPBS that going was slow trying to find people possibly still in the factory. "We are trying to look for the injured. But the flames are quite high so it takes quite an effort," he said. He said rescuers were fanning out around the area to help people who were injured by falling debris.
Blaze not completely extinguished yet, one warehouse still in flames
So far, 11 injuries have been reported, including one serious; people were rushed to a nearby hospital for treatment. Hours after the explosion, the fire department said it was considered under control but that the blaze had not yet been completely extinguished, with one warehouse still in flames. There was no immediate word on what might have caused the fire in Bang Phli district.
No flights had been canceled: Airport officials
The company operating the factory was also not reachable by phone. Local media reported the initial explosion shook the terminal building at Suvarnabhumi, setting off alarms at Bangkok's main international airport. Airport officials said no flights had been canceled but offered no other immediate details.