May 14, 2014 00:00
By SUTINAN KONGSIN
AIR-QUALITY tests show the area around the Praksa dump site is free from harmful volatile organic compounds and sulphur dioxide, after the latest fire there was completely extinguished on Monday night.
"We haven’t found any harmful contaminants in the air here,” an official from the Chemical Emergency Response Centre said yesterday.
Local people have already returned to their normal lives. On Monday, several residents quickly packed their bags and waited for instructions on whether they should evacuate after a fire broke out at the dump site and spread thick black fumes around the area.
They were apparently still haunted by memories of a previous incident in March, when a large fire broke out and raged through the 150-rai (24-hectare) waste yard.
On that occasion, authorities advised the locals to evacuate the area, as toxic fumes kept billowing out from the Praksa dump site and blanketed several districts of Samut Prakan and adjacent parts of Bangkok for days.
Given the dangerous fumes during that incident, it is widely believed that industrial waste might have been dumped there illegally.
Im Paemor, chairman of Tambon Praksa Administrative Organisation, yesterday inspected the dump site and instructed firefighters to be on standby.
He said his agency had ordered the operator of the site to erect a concrete wall around it.
“We have also ordered that laterite soil be used to fill in as large a part as possible of the vast pond in the middle of the dump site,” he said, adding that the pond makes it hard for firefighters to put out a blaze quickly.