BANGKOK, Thailand – A devastating explosion at a fireworks factory in central Thailand resulted in the tragic deaths of at least 20 individuals, according to the government’s disaster relief agency. The explosion also caused multiple injuries, although the exact number was not immediately provided. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation stated that they were working to secure the site in Suphan Buri province and assist those affected by the incident. The cause of the explosion is currently under investigation.
The office of Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who was at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, received a distressing phone call from the regional police commander, notifying him that 20 to 30 workers were at the factory during the explosion, and none of them could be located. The tragedy made it difficult for rescue workers to provide an exact count of the victims as many of the bodies were in pieces, making the situation even more distressing.
Images circulating on social media showcased a thick plume of black smoke rising from the blast site, which resulted in the factory being virtually leveled flat, leaving behind debris and body parts. The severity of the blast has drawn attention to the safety regulations and measures in place for fireworks factories in Thailand. Just last November, another explosion at the same factory claimed the life of one worker and left three others seriously injured, leading the authorities to consider legal action for any negligence or wrongdoing.
This tragic incident occurred less than a month before Chinese New Year, a period when there is high demand for fireworks. The past history of explosions at fireworks warehouses in Thailand, as well as the potential dangers they pose to nearby residential areas, are raising concerns about the safety protocols in place for the storage and handling of such hazardous materials. The investigation into the cause of the explosion is expected to shed light on the safety measures currently in place and whether they are adequate to prevent such devastating incidents in the future.