South Korean ship owner fined 50,000 baht for chemical fire at Laem Chabang
The Port Authority of Thailand (PAT) has initially slapped a 50,000 baht fine on the South Korean owner of a container ship which caught fire at Laem Chabang deep-sea port last week, causing chemical fumes to blanket surrounding communities.
Meanwhile, about 1,000 residents affected by the smoke lodged a complaint with the Laem Chabang port administration today to demand compensation from the ship’s owner.
Laem Chabang port director Yutthana Mokkhao said yesterday that, besides the 50,000 baht initial fine, the port administration was considering taking legal action against the South Korean shipping firm for its failure to declare the chemicals stored in the containers on board the freighter, KMTC Hong Kong, which caught fire last week.
The containers were found to contain calcium hypochlorite, which is widely used in the frozen food industry to kill germs. The chemical is not a threat to human health if used in appropriate amounts.
Yutthana said that he was informed, by a group of importers, that there are still many containers at Laem Chabang port which were thought to contain chemicals and they want the Customs department to investigate because they are the only authority that can open the containers.