11 July 2024

About 200 people, living within a 1km radius of an ice factory in Khao Khor district of Thailand’s upper central province of Phetchabun, were evacuated from their homes on Wednesday evening after ammonia gas began to leak from storage tanks during the afternoon.

 

This morning (Thursday), the gas is still reported to be leaking from one of the three storage tanks of the Youngyuen ice factory, contradicting an earlier report that it would take only a few hours for all the gas to leak out.

Rescue workers have managed to close the valve on one of the tanks and have used a robot to spray water into the air near the factory, to limit the spread of the gas.

Shortly after the leak was discovered, Khao Khor district officials closed roads to all traffic, about a kilometre from the ice factory, and directed motorists to alternative routes.

At 6pm yesterday, residents living within a kilometre of the ice factory were told to evacuate.

Phetchabun Governor Mr. Krit Kongmuang went to the scene late yesterday afternoon, to manage the situation. Health officials were rushed to the scene to help treat people suffering from the effects of the gas leak.

Ms. Warangkhana Sakitkwa, a resident of Camp Sont, whose house is located about 200 metres from the ice factory, told a Thai PBS reporter that she smelled a strong stench, which she thought was herbicide, at about 10am yesterday but, around noon, she said the smell became so strong that she had to cover her nose with a piece of cloth, adding that some residents experienced dizziness and nausea.

Tags: ammonia gas leak, ice factory, evacuated