THE HUGE fire raging at an oil tanker docked in Samut Songkhram for repairs since 9 a.m. this morning (Jan. 17) was brought under control at around 3 p.m., INN News said.
However the death toll rose to two after another victim’s body was spotted at the bottom of the oil tanker, Smooth Sea 22, with officials working on bringing it ashore.
Four others who were injured are undergoing treatment at the hospital while five are missing.
It is still not known what caused the explosion but investigation continues.
Pol. Lt. Col. Tharathep Chandit, an investigator at Muang Samut Songkhram police station, was informed of the fire erupting aboard the oil tanker anchored at Ruammit Dockyard Company’s pier in Laem Yai subdistrict, Mueang district, and quickly alerted Samut Songkram Governor Somnuk Phromkeaw and relevant government agencies, Matichon newspaper said.
The governor said firefighters had difficulty in controlling the blaze because there was still some oil left in the oil tanker. Foam trucks from many agencies were dispatched and experts also brought in to oversee extinguishing it.
Preliminary investigation revealed that the oil tanker carrying 25,000 litres of fuel oil and 20,000 litres of diesel had anchored at this pier for maintenance. It is assumed that welding upfront the ship led to sparks flying and reaching residual oil triggering the explosion.
The blast damaged some nearby houses and the sound was so loud people ten kilometres away heard it,
Top and Front Page: The oil tanker ablaze at Samut Songkhram dockyard. Photo: Matichon