The Nation

Jet fuel leak into canal contained, PTTAR says

PTT Aromatics and Refining yesterday insisted that the jet-fuel-contaminated water that accidentally leaked into the Chak Mak canal had been contained and left no impact on the environment or community.

"An accident can happen any time, but we responded to it immediately," Bowon Vongsinudom, president and chief executive officer of PTTAR, said today. The company has cooperated with villagers in cleaning up the thin film of oil floating on Klong Chak Mak since morning. Now it can control the damage and is confident that there is no risk to the environment, he said. "We're very careful during major maintenance because we know that an accident in Map Ta Phut is a very sensitive issue. I think that 10 litres of oil is not too much and we can manage it," he said. According to a statement released by Sophon Siriratchatapong, the duty manager at the plant in Rayong's Map Ta Phut industrial zone, during the maintenance operation at 7.30am, water with 10 litres of jet fuel backed up into the company's tap-water system. As the system broke down, the water went out the drain linked to the canal. Buoys and thin film were deployed to limit the damage. Klong Chak Mak is home to about 100 small fishing boats.Thanom Mingman, 53, the leader of a small fishermen's group, said PTTAR failed to alert fishermen along the canal of the accident. He said they found the thin oil layer in the early morning and notified the office of the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate. He was concerned that the contamination would threaten the mussel farm down the canal. Suthi Atchasai, a coordinator of the public network in the East, demanded that PTTAR mop up the residual oil, or the network would take action. "There are doubts about what happened with the factory's drainage system. An accident like this should not have happened, as Klong Chak Mak has experienced much pollution before," he said.

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