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Run-off from dump site dangerous

Firefighters try to put out the blaze at the large landfill in Praksa, Samut Prakan.

Firefighters try to put out the blaze at the large landfill in Praksa, Samut Prakan.

The run-off from water used to extinguish the fire at Samut Prakan's Praksa garbage dump is contaminated and needs to be treated, while the protective gear worn by firemen is hazardous and needs to undergo special cleaning, a Bangkok seminar was told yesterday.

Also, reporters covering the fire must wear full protective gear and wash the clothes worn on that day separately, Dr Phornchai Sitthisarankul of Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Medicine said.

The doctor also advised residents living near the site to leave the area or stay indoors with windows and doors tightly shut and air conditioners turned off. They have also been advised to avoid consuming food and water sold in the area.

Srisuwan Janya, chairman of the Stop Global Warming Association, yesterday filed a complaint with the Central Administrative Court, accusing four senior civil servants of negligence of duty, which resulted in the dumping of untreated toxic waste at the garbage dump.

The complaint also demands that the dump be closed permanently and the four officers work to revoke the licence of the irresponsible operators, restore the condition of the area, sanitise polluted spots and pay compensation to those affected.

The accused are chief of the Praksa Tambon Administrative Organisa-tion (TAO), Praksa Municipality, Samut Prakan governor and director-general of the Department of Industrial Works.

The court has accepted Srisuwan's complaint.

At the seminar, Praphan Chobson, a senior official from the Phraek Sa TAO, said his agency could only provide immediate assistance to those affected and that further assistance and measures would be the responsibility of the provincial authorities and the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry.

The number of people made ill by the smoke from the garbage fire has reached 940, with the infant suffering from lung inflammation still in hospital though recovering, the Public Health Ministry' permanent secretary Narong Sahametapat reported.






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