A FIRE that spread across an oil tanker carrying 20,000 litres of fuel oil and diesel and docked at Samut Songkhram province for repairs was still raging three hours after an explosion triggered it this morning (Jan. 17) with one person dead and five injured, Amarin TV and Matichon newspaper said.
At 9.30 a.m. Samut Songkram Governor Mr. Somnuk Phromkeaw, Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation provincial chief Mr. Paradol Rungrojthira, police officers and related agencies rushed to the scene to direct the extinguishing of the huge blaze raging through The Smooth Sea 22 oil tanker that weighs 2,996 tons and anchored for repairs on Jan. 12, 2023.
They set up a coordinating centre at the office of Ruammitr Dockyard Co., Ltd.
So far the provincial authorities had dispatched two fire trucks and a fire boat; Bang Kaew subdistrict administrative organisation sent one fire truck; Amphawa municipality one fire truck; Regional Harbour Master one fire boat; Sawangbenjatham rescue unit two rescue vehicles and Mahachai Hospital two ambulances.
The coordinating centre obtained foam extinguishing trucks from the Bang Kaew subdistrict administrative organisation, Shell and PTG Energy companies while a special centre at the Bangkok Disaster Relief Unit is sending 200 litres of foam with the Regional Harbour Master told to load it on a boat and spray it on the blaze.
However the battle to put out the huge fire continues while a constant stream of smoke billows. A fifth explosion was heard 11.05 a.m. and up to that time the blaze could not be controlled.
It is assumed that the fire may have been caused during repairs upfront the oil-laden tanker where steel panels were being welded with sparks flying and triggering the explosion. There were ten workers on the ship at the time and 30 onshore.
The tanker has a crew of 16 sailors with five people slightly injured and one dead so far.
The oil tanker ablaze at Samut Songkhram dockyard. Photos above and below: Matichon, Front Page: Thai Rath