Chemical factory in Samut Prakan bursts into flames


Samut Prakan is an industrial province with many factories, that is located a mere 20 KM away from downtown Bangkok. Yesterday, one of the larger manufacturing plants in the area witnessed a calamity that would quickly rock surrounding provinces.

Around 3AM on 5th July 2021, there was an explosion at the  Ming Dih Chemical factory in Samut Prakan. In addition to fears surrounding the fire and the explosion, there were also concerns about toxic fumes being carried over to other areas through the wind.

Over the course of yesterday and today 6th July 2021, firefighters have been working hard to control the flames. However, leftover chemical residue in the factory resulted in the flames reigniting around 5 PM today.

Here are the details of the event, and steps being taken to ensure everyone’s safety.

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Samut Prakan factory catches on fire


On 5th July 2021, the Ming Dih Chemical factory in Samut Prakan exploded around 3AM. The blast resulted in over 60 injured individuals and one reported fatality. Since then, many people from surrounding neighbourhoods have been evacuated due to concerns of dangerous chemical gasses from the explosion being carried over via wind, as written by WION.

While firefighters have continued to control the fire, chemical residue at the plant resulted in the flames reigniting at 5PM this evening, 6th July 2021, according to The Reporters.

samutprakan-factory-fireScreenshot: The Reporters

Ming Dih Chemical factory’s blast also impacted residential areas within a 10 KM radius of the plant: over 15 cars and 70 homes proximal to the factory were damaged by the blast.

CCTV footage from a nearby resident’s home was shared on Facebook page, FM91 Trafficpro, and portrays the effects of the blast.

chemical-factory-cctv
CCTV footage of the explosion’s impact on a resident’s home 
Gif: Top News

The clip begins with the resident’s house intact.

Their glass windows can be seen shattering, as well as their potted plants being dispersed after the massive bang sound. Viewers can also see that the rooted shrubbery were also shaking.

chemical-factory-cctvBefore the explosion
Screenshot: FM91 Trafficpro 


Fire caused unhealthy nitrogen levels 


The Ming Dih Chemical factory’s explosion resulted in toxic fumes dispersing throughout the atmosphere – Mr. Thalerngsak Petchsuwan, Deputy Director of the Pollution Control Department, advised those who live within 10 KM of the blast to stay indoors. Areas to be on alert include Lat Krabang and On Nut areas, reports Globe.

“People who inhale those fume can become dizzy and may develop cancer”, asserted the official.

Unhealthy Nitrogen Dioxide levels have been detected around Bangkok, Ayutthaya, Nakhon Nayok, Saraburi and Chacheong Sao since the blast. These levels are considered to be harmful to our visual and respiratory systems, the gas is also clear and odourless.

chemical-factory-nitrogen
Image credit: Joey Kanis

Nitrogen Dioxide levels raise after combustion and explosions.


N95 masks are recommended


We’re rooting for our front liners and volunteers in these dire times. To reduce their workload and maintain our own health, it’s necessary to protect ourselves from these airborne pollutants. In the event that going outside is absolutely necessary, it is highly recommended to don a N95 mask as they have enhanced filtering systems than typical surgical masks.

For those who are around those reported areas, it’s important to stay alert and keep away from the spot for now.


Cover images adapted from: FM91 Trafficpro 

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