MORE than eight hours after a fuel tanker carrying 40,000 litres of fuel slammed into an 18-wheel trailer truck in Buriram province and exploded into a huge ball of fire that quickly spread and destroyed 10 shophouses and 20 vehicles at around midnight last night firemen were still hosing down the vehicles because around 30,000 litres of the fuel remained in the tanker and only the oil company could drain it out, Sanook.com reported this afternoon (Oct. 29, 2020).
It was expected the process of draining the remaining fuel would be completed by noon today, and firemen were worried that a smoldering fire could erupt again. Only after that could the wrecks be moved off the road and normal traffic resume in this area of Nong Ki district.
The drivers of both vehicles managed to escape safely with the fuel tanker driver admitting that he slammed into the trailer truck, explaining that he was drowsy at the time.
Damage is expected to total at least 10 million baht.
Merchants, vendors and residents in the area were still in a state of shock hours after the deadly accident because the fuel flowed down the roads and the drains and spread fire in all directions for almost a kilometre.
They all said none of them bothered to save their belongings and only ran for their lives.
Mrs. Yupin Channoi, a noodle vendor, was selling food as usual when she heard the powerful crash at the intersection. At first she thought it was an ordinary crash but when she saw fireballs shooting into the air with the flames also spreading down the road and the gutter she, her husband and all people around there quickly ran off, but some people fell in panic to escape.
Mrs Jareerat Srisophitsawat, the owner of a miscellaneous goods store, said she and her family were sleeping in their shophouse but when she awoke she saw fire upfront and first thought it might be arson.
However upon coming down she saw two cars and a motorcycle parked in front of the shophouse and the awning ceiling burning. She got a hose and tried to put out the fire but without success. A little later a fire engine managed to do so but by then the vehicles and the front of her shophouse had been destroyed.
She estimated the damage she suffered to be around one million baht and would like the oil company to pay for it.
The damage caused by the frightening fuel blaze in Buriram last night. Thai headline says, “Sea of fire at Nong Ki.” Photos: Sanook.com