Poi Pet residents affected by Sa Kaew blaze

national March 21, 2014 00:00

By The Nation

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RESIDENTS OF the Cambodian border town of Poi Pet filed a complaint with Thai paramilitary rangers yesterday that they were suffering from an allergic reaction brought on by fumes from a fire at the Aranyaprathet Municipality dump in Sa Kaew.

Local authorities were working on putting out the fire as of press time. Captain Apinan Songkhramchai, who oversees the Burapha Task Force’s Paramilitary Ranger Company 1206, said Cambodians living near Phrom Hod canal had been affected by the white smoke since 5am and many were suffering from smarting eyes and breathing problems.

The dump, the largest in the municipality and located on a 100-rai plot near the canal, reportedly caught fire at 4am yesterday. The site is some 2 kilometres from the Thai-Cambodia border. 
The municipality had dispatched two firetrucks to put out flames under the garbage pile, hence there was less smoke as of press time. Authorities believe the fire was caused by extreme heat reacting with biofuel created by different types of waste. 
Meanwhile, a fire broke out at an abandoned garbage dump in tambon Wat Pradu in Surat Thani’s Muang district yesterday afternoon. The fire was suspected to have bee caused by heat, methane gas emitted from garbage piles or someone throwing a lit cigarette butt there. Following the 1.30pm fire report, 10 fire engines were dispatched to control the fire at this 43-rai garbage dump site, which reportedly had been abandoned for six years.
Separately in Tak’s Phop Phra district, the district chief, Prasong La-on, dispatched fire engines to put out a blaze in a six-rai section of the Tambon Chong Khaeb Administrative Organisation garbage dump. As of press time, an informed source reported that the dump was still on fire, with fumes affecting several villages nearby. 
However, Tak disaster prevention and mitigation office chief Ratiros Meekhamhaeng said the fire was under control and that the situation had returned to normal. The cause of the fire is being investigated, though it is believed the fire was sparked off on Wednesday evening when an ember from a nearby forest fire hit some flammable garbage. 

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