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Toxic chemical explosion and fire on container ship in Thailand

PortandTerminal.com, May 26, 2019

An explosion and fire erupted in containers on board of a ship in eastern Thailand’s Laem Chabang seaport on Saturday, injuring at least 25, reports said.

Bangkok, Thailand – Flames raged through a load of cargo in Thailand’s eastern Laem Chabang port on Saturday (May 25), forcing officials to evacuate workers and temporarily close three piers, authorities said. More than 130 people were taken to hospital with reports of 25 injuries.

Red flames and clouds of thick black and white smoke poured out of the South Korean container ship KMTC Hongkong Co.

Workers at the scene were seen dousing their faces with water desperate to wipe off caustic powder residue from the incident.

The deep-water port of Laem Chabang in Thailand is the country’s largest

Cause of explosion and fire

Initial checks showed the blaze broke out in a load of cargo containing the chemical calcium hypochlorite.

Calcium hypochlorite is a disinfecting and bleaching agent with a tendency for self-ignition and has been responsible for many ship fires in recent years. The district around Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Chonburi province, located two hours south of capital Bangkok, has been declared a “danger zone”, said port director Yuthana Mokkhao.

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