FOLLOWING the explosion of a carbon dioxide fire extinguisher during a drill at a secondary school in Bangkok killing a student yesterday (June 23), the Bangkok Metropolitan Authority (BMA) today ordered the removal of these tanks that are mostly only kept at fire stations and differ from the dry chemical red fire extinguishers placed in various locations across the city, Matichon newspaper said.
Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt and Deputy Governor Ms. Tawida Kamolvej also halted all fire drills until the equipment had been checked for safety.
Next week district chiefs and community leaders will be checking the red fire extinguishers in every neighbourhood with old ones being removed and those up to standard topped up with the required chemicals.
BMA is also reviewing these drills especially at educational institutions with no chemicals and spraying to be allowed and instructional video shown to students. Should participation be required protective clothing should be worn.
BMA is giving the family of the 12th grader of Rajavinit Mathayom School who died when the Co2 fire extinguisher exploded 29,700 baht compensation while those who were injured will be given 4,000 baht each with all their medical expenses covered.
Chadchart said the Co2 fire extinguisher that exploded yesterday had a pressure of 800 PSI while ordinary red tanks record 190 PSI.
From now on private tanks will not be allowed to be used at drills only those purchased according to standardised government regulations and they must be tested every 5 years.
The location of these tanks will soon be shown on Global Positioning System (GPS) with this to also show risky locations such as where Co2 tanks with 4,000 PSI are placed.
He also wants community leaders to inform residents that the red tanks are much safer.
“Dry chemicals in tanks are not as dangerous as carbon dioxide because there is much lower pressure and there is a gauge installed,” Chadchart said.
Nang Loeng station police team took three Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department officials who conducted the fire drill where the student died to Criminal Court to ask for their detention without the granting of bail, TV Channel 7 said.
However the court allowed them to be temporarily released upon placing their positions and 50,000 baht each as surety.
Top: Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt and Deputy Governor Tawida Kamolvej, right, and the school yard where the 12th grader died during a fire drill yesterday, June 23, 2023. Photo: Matichon
Front Page: Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt talking to reporters yesterday. Photo: Thai Rath