Thousands of residents have been evacuated after at least one person was killed and 12 were injured from an explosion at a plastics factory in Thailand Monday morning.
The incident took place in Bang Phli district in the Samut Prakan province and caused extensive damage to surrounding buildings including in nearby residential areas as far as 1 kilometer away. The Ming Dih factory, close to the Suvarnabhumi airport, produced plastic pellets. The fire broke out in the early hours of the morning. Flights were not affected, the newspaper said.
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“At first it felt like lightning. After that, I heard something drop loudly, and for a while, the house started shaking like there was an earthquake,” local resident Baitong Nisarat reported. More than 30 fire engines, as well as helicopters, were deployed, the Bangkok Post reported. Firefighters were seen making their way through the wreckage to get closer to the flames.
Thai authorities evacuated people in a 5 kilometer (3 mile) radius fearing further explosions. Some 50 tons of chemicals are stored in five or six warehouses in the same factory compound, according to the report. A school and a government office were set up as evacuation centers as rescue workers continued to search for survivors. Firefighters said they had the blaze under control, but gave no word on the origin of the explosion.