POLICE said a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher that exploded during a fire drill at a secondary school in Bangkok killing one student and injuring 29 others was a reusable one but not fitted with a safety valve, Thai Rath and Matichon newspapers said this afternoon (June 23).
Metropolitan Police Chief Pol. Lt. Gen. Thiti Saengsawang said it was likely that staff from the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department who were showing fire-fighting techniques to the students and teachers of Rajavinit Mathayom School in Dusit district had filled more gas and placed the extinguisher in the sun with the heat causing the pressure to expand and as there was no safety valve it then exploded.
The blast occurred during the second of three rounds of fire-fighting training undertaken by this department.
However during the second session the fire extinguisher exploded while some students were participating in the demonstration killing the sixth grade male student and injuring five other students with one of them in serious condition with wounds on his arms and legs.
Around 29 persons got injured with four sent to Central Hospital and five to Vachira Hospital while the condition of 20 others is still being evaluated.
Pol. Lt. Gen. Thiti added that forensic police officers are now collecting evidence at the school while another team is going through surveillance camera clips. The body of the deceased male student was sent to Police Hospital for an autopsy.
Police investigators are separately interrogating the seven coaches who handled the fire drill with teachers and students also being separately questioned.
It has emerged that the extinguisher that exploded was a reusable one but not fitted with a safety valve. Moreover having placed it in the sun for a long time it caused the pressure to expand and with there not being a safety valve the tank then exploded.
The fire extinguisher that exploded at Rajavinit Mathayom School this morning, June 23, 2023. Photos: Thai Rath