Factory closed for 15 days for inspection after Thursday’s chemical leak
The Nakhon Pathom provincial industrial works office has ordered the Indorama Polyester Industries plant in Nakhon Chai Si district to close for 15 days today (Thursday), pending inspection to ensure there will be no further leaks of chemicals into the environment.
About 30 litres of heat transfer fluids, called biphenyl and diphenyl oxide, ethers in the aromatic benzine chemical group, leaked from a production unit in the plant this morning. The chemicals were quickly carried away and spread on the breeze, forcing several schools in Nakhon Chai Si, Sam Phran and Salaya districts to suspend classes and send their students home for their safety.
People living in close vicinity to the factory were also advised by officials from the Pollution Control Department to stay home, wear face masks and to close all windows and doors.
Sahawat Sobha, deputy director of Industrial Works Department, said today that the closure of the factory is necessary to ensure that the incident will not be repeated, adding that the production unit in question has been operational for over 30 years and is in need of close inspection to find out the cause of the chemical leak.
Nakhon Pathom Governor Surasak Charoensirichoke said that odour of the chemicals had spread more than 10km from the factory and could be sensed in Bangkok’s Taweewattana district adding, however, that the situation is now under control.
The management of Indorama Polyester Industries issued a public apology, saying the incident was accidental and promising to provide help to all those who were affected by the leak.
Meanwhile, officials from the Pollution Control Department checked air quality within a 17km radius of the factory, but found no traces of the leaked chemicals.