11 July 2024

Firefighters have managed to put out the fire on board the oil tanker “Smooth Sea 2”, as IRPC, a petroleum and petrochemical company which owns a pier near the explosion, gave an assurance that there is no oil left in the vessel, which is currently docked at the pier in the estuary of the Chao Phraya River in Samut Prakan province.

Deputy Director-General of Thailand’s Marine Department Sompong Jirasirilert said that the oil tanker, carrying 1.8 million litres of benzene gasohol 91 and 1.3 million litres of diesel, left Rayong yesterday and docked at IRPC’s pier on the Chao Phraya at about 8pm.

At about 9am this morning, an explosion occurred on the tanker, followed by a fire. Three crew members were injured and one went missing.

Sompong said that officials checked the tanker, after the fire was extinguished, and did not find anything leaking into the river, adding that officials from the marine and environment safety office are in the process of investigating the cause of the explosion.

Phra Pradaeng district police said a witness has claimed that someone had tampered with the hydraulic system on the tanker, triggering the explosion.

According to police, a missing crew member remains unaccounted for at the time of this report.