Three workers were killed in an explosion at an ethanol factory in Khon Kaen’s Non Sila district yesterday morning.
Following the 9.40am report of the explosion at Thai Ethanol Power’s factory on Mittraparp Road, police inspected the scene and initially found that the blast was triggered by sparks from a welder that a worker was using to fix a ruptured bio-gas tank inside the factory.
Police found two dead bodies on the factory floor near the bio-gas tank, which was connected to the wastewater treatment tank to get gas for the electricity-generating system. Another body was found on top of the 18-metre-high bio-gas tank.
The three deceased workers were identified as welders Chai Yoodee, Pornchai Insaen and Methawi Madwaeng.
Production manager Theerawat Saekuay said the company had hired a contractor to repair the 8,000-litre wastewater treatment system and the workers were there yesterday for a last-minute touch-up on the system.
He said the damage was limited to one tank.
He said the factory’s executives would meet to discuss the incident including the cause and to determine the remedial measures for the dead workers’ families.
Khon Kaen police chief Maj-General Jitjaroon Sriwanich, who observed the investigators’ inspection of the accident scene yesterday, said sparks for a welder were the most likely cause of the explosion, although he would have forensic officers look at the evidence before determining the official cause.