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No air pollution after petrochemical plant blast in Rayong

The level of hazardous substances in the air near the IRPC petrochemical plant in Rayong province, which caught fire on Sunday, is still below safety standards, Wichien Jungrungruang, director general of the Pollution Control Department said on Tuesday.

His staff have visited the area to check levels of air pollutants, particularly volatile organic compounds such as benzene, styrene and sulfur dioxide, both at the plant and in the surrounding communities. They did not find any trace of any substance breaching the safety standard level.

However to ensure safety, local natural resources and environment officials will re-check the pollution levels around the plant again today, he said.

IRPC president Sukrit Surabotsopon said a hydrocarbon leakage caused the explosion in a vacuum gas-oil hydro-treatment unit at 6pm on Sunday evening, and the fire was completely put out at 8.20pm. No one was injured.

The damage is estimated at about Bt400 million, he said.

Company staff are checking air quality in the vicinity, he said. Most local refineries and petrochemical plants have continued to operate and only the burned out facility and adjacent units have been temporarily closed.


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