11 July 2024

Pollution Control Department officials are investigating the cause of the chemical fire on board a freighter at Laem Chabang deep-sea port in Thailand’s eastern province of Chon Buri. 


They are also trying to determine the source of chemicals found in 13 containers.


An informed source said that an initial probe shows that the chemicals in the 13 containers were not properly declared.


The containers were reported by their owner to contain two chemicals, namely calcium hypochlorite powder, a water treatment product, and chlorinated paraffin, which is often used as a flame retardant and secondary plasticizer in rubber, paints, adhesives, sealants and plastics.


PCD director-general Pralong Damrongthai said today that air quality checks at the port found the organic volatile substance level measured 1.2-2.4 ppm and formaldehyde at 0,92-1.96 ppm, which can cause eye irritation, skin inflammation and affect the respiratory system.


Although the fire was brought under control, firemen continued to spray water jets into several containers to douse the smoke.


Booms were also placed in the sea to catch oil, washed into the sea during efforts to extinguish the blaze.


People in communities near the port were also evacuated during the chemical fire.