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Thu, August 17, 2006 : Last updated 10:48 am (Thai local time)



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Home > National > Two die in explosion at fireworks warehouse





Two die in explosion at fireworks warehouse


Rescue workers and firemen continue to pour water over the remains of a fireworks explosion in Songkhla yesterday. Two workers died in the explosion.
A powerful explosion at a Sadao district fireworks warehouse yesterday morning left two dead and another three seriously injured.

Police said the explosion happened as workers transferred fireworks from an 18-wheel truck to the warehouse. The exact cause of the explosion remained unknown. The warehouse owner believed the explosion was sparked in the lorry's container.

The warehouse occupied a row of nine two-storey shop houses opposite the Sadao municipal swimming pool.

Fire and rescue services rushed to the scene but said the two workers died instantly.

Officials condemned the warehouse for demolition, saying it was now structurally unsafe. The wreckage was off limits because of fears it would collapse.

The blast rocked the town and damaged the swimming pool and nearby shop houses.

Late last night fire fighters were continuing to pour water into the building to prevent any more explosions. Warehouse owner Captain Chavalit Kalampa-heti, a former Songkhla election chief, said he was concerned for the victims.

"We will pay Bt40,000 compensation to the families of those killed in the blast," he said. The company would foot hospital expenses for the injured.

Chavalit estimated at least Bt500,000 worth of fireworks went up in the blast. He was insured for Bt1.5 million.

Chavalit imported fireworks from China and distributed them in the South.

"We have a proper licence," he said, but added he would review his involvement in the business.

Fireworks are stockpiled in the months and weeks ahead of major holidays and festivals like November's Loy Kratong, creating potential hazards.

Fireworks explosions kill several people each year. Fourteen were killed when a fireworks factory exploded in Ayutthaya two years ago and six died in an explosion outside Bangkok this year.

The Nation

SONGKHLA








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