BANGKOK (The Nation/Asia News Network): The Public Health Ministry on Tuesday (Aug 29) issued an urgent warning to workers at Laem Chabang deep seaport in Chonburi province and nearby residents to wear anti-pollution masks after chemicals caught fire at the port in the morning.
Dr Opas karnkawinpong, permanent secretary at the ministry, said a 9-tonne container with dangerous acid chemicals had caught fire at 10am on Tuesday.
The container was kept on the ground for storing dangerous goods of JWD Company inside the compound of the Laem Chabang deep seaport in Tambon Thung Sukla of Si Racha district.
Opas said he had learned from Chonburi public health inspector Suthep Phetmak that the container had 378 boxes of organic peroxides, which are acid chemicals. Each box weighed 18 kilograms.
Opas said the fire released a strong odour across the vast area around the port although firefighters put out the blaze.
According to Opas, 183 workers at the spot were evacuated and six of them suffered from breathing difficulties. They were sent to a nearby private hospital after receiving first-aid treatment.
Officials also checked 54 workers at the control tower and 23 others at the parking space of Toyota Motors Thailand but there were no cases of breathing difficulties.
Officials were also sent to check communities within the five-kilometre radius of the fire but no one has fallen ill so far.
Health officials told local residents through the communities’ public address system to always wear masks when they leave home.
The local residents have been advised to immediately inform leaders or health volunteers if they develop breathing difficulties so that they would be sent to the Laem Chabang Hospital Immediately.