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Samut Prakarn

Fire may be put out today

THE LANDFILL FIRE in Samut Prakan that is billowing smoke and fumes across surrounding areas will probably be extinguished today.

THE LANDFILL FIRE in Samut Prakan that is billowing smoke and fumes across surrounding areas will probably be extinguished today.

Up to 70 per cent has been brought under control, thanks to joint efforts by the Phraek Sa Tambon Administration Organisation, various charitable foundations and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA)'s Fire and Rescue Department, Surakiat Limcharoen, a deputy director, said yesterday.

A new technique has been deployed, with a new tool used - a fire-hose nozzle that can penetrate deep into the garbage pile and inject water deep down below.

Backhoes would continue cutting up huge, condensed piles of garbage for water jets to be let inside, while tractors and backhoes would also run over burned garbage to press it further down into the liquefied layer underneath, he said.

On Tuesday, 85 BMA-hired firemen from 14 fire stations started working at the landfill site. The firemen, in full protective gear, took turns doing their shifts to prevent stress and minimise occupational hazards from the toxic smog and fires.

A one-year-old boy living a kilometre away was hospitalised for asthma and breathing difficulties and later diagnosed with lung inflammation, his mother told reporters. She said she and her family had not evacuated their home.

The National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM) again called for households lying within 2km of the site to be evacuated under international standards.

Dr Kittiphong Banomyong of the NIEM said about 200 homes were in the area and agencies providing assistance there needed to protect themselves thoroughly.

Those deciding not to leave needed to stay safely in their homes, with windows and doors tightly shut, while those travelling outdoors needed to wear protective masks at all times. A central air-conditioning system in the house is less safe than individual units.

Dr Anucha Setsathian, secretary-general of the NIEM, said a long-term evacuation management system was based on preparation, response, recovery and prevention.

All agencies should integrate their operations and draft contingency plans to handle such toxic fires and other industrial disasters, he said.




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