Huge fire at a chemical storage tank in Thailand kills one and injures 4

BANGKOK (AP) — At least one person was killed and four others were injured after a huge fire broke out at a chemical storage tank in an Eastern Thailand industrial park on Thursday.

The fire in Mab Ta Phut Industrial Estate, which was first reported in the morning, was contained more than six hours later. Fire workers estimated it might take more than 10 hours to be able to fully extinguish the flames, according to the Rayong province’s public relations department.

About 400 workers and residents have been evacuated to a temporary shelter, the department said.

Officials said the tank, which has a storage capacity of 2,500 cubic meters, belongs to the Mab Ta Phut Tank Terminal company, which operates a commercial port and storage terminal for petrochemical products. They said the tank contained Pyrolysis gasoline, a mixture of chemicals commonly used in gasoline blending.

Videos and photos from the scene show a huge plume of black smoke and raging fire engulfing a white tank that was standing close to several others.

The company said in a statement that it is investigating the cause of the fire and will implement measures to prevent it from happening again. It expressed its condolences and said the company is ready to provide compensation to those affected.

In 2021, the company was ordered to cease operations temporarily after another one of its storage tanks erupted and caught fire, killing three and seriously injuring two.