Several killed in Thailand fireworks warehouse explosion | Infrastructure News


At least nine killed and more than 100 others injured in a blast at a fireworks warehouse in Sungai Kolok.

An explosion has ripped through a firework warehouse in southern Thailand, killing at least nine people and injuring more than 100 others, officials said.

The blast in the town of Sungai Kolok in the southern province of Narathiwat on Saturday is thought to have been caused by welding during construction work on the building, the provincial governor said.

“A warehouse storing firecrackers in Sungai Kolok exploded this afternoon, the latest number is nine dead and 115 injured,” Narathiwat Governor Sanan Pongaksorn told the AFP news agency.

“The fire is now under control. Preliminary investigation suggests the cause is a technical error during the steel welding process, as the building is under construction.”

The Narathiwat province’s Public Relations Department said at least 118 people were injured and that residents of more than 200 households were affected. It said that officials believe there are still a number of people trapped under the debris. The blast caused damage in a radius of about 500 metres (1,640 feet), it said.

Thailand fireworks warehouse blast
People speak on their phones in front of a house damaged by an explosion at a firework warehouse in Narathiwat province, southern Thailand [Kriya Tehtani/AP Photo]

Videos posted on social media from the site showed a huge plume of smoke over the area and many damaged structures, cars and motorbikes, as well as streets covered with debris. Many of the houses and other buildings appear to have collapsed roofs and walls.

Public broadcaster Thai PBS said that as many as 500 houses were damaged by the explosion in the border town on the frontier with Malaysia.

Witness Seksan Taesen, who lives 100 metres (328 feet) away from the warehouse, said there was “chaos” after the blast.

“I was playing with my phone inside the house then suddenly, I heard a loud, thunderous noise and my whole house shook,” Seksan told AFP.

“Then I saw my roof was wide open. I looked outside and I saw houses collapsing and people lying on the ground everywhere. It was chaos.”

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