The Pollution Control Department has sent an emergency team to the site near Bangchak oil refinery on Sukhumvit 64 to examine the air quality following the explosion and fire at the refinery early on Wednesday morning.
The department’s director general Wichien Jungrungrueng said the team is equipped with an air-quality examination mobile vehicle to collect air samples for testing out of concern that the air could possibly be contaminated with substances that can cause cancer.
As the explosion and blaze occurred at the refinery’s pipeline, toxic substances from benzene and as a result of the burning could spread into the air and water, he said.
A separate team would also collect water samples from the area, he added.
A fire at the Bangchak oil refinery broke out on Wednesday morning at about 7am following an explosion, sending thick smoke into the air that could be seen across the capital.
About 100 families in nearby communities were alerted to the situation and were told to be prepared for evacuation if needed. However, the situation was quickly brought under control and no evacuation order was issued.
Phrakanong Pittayalai school, about a kilometre from the refinery, suspended classes and sent their students home.
The refinery will be closed for 30 days pending investigation.