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Overnight Ice Factory Explosion Leads to Chemical Hazard, at Least 60 People Injured


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Nongprue, Near Pattaya-In the late hours of April 17th, 2024, the quiet of Chonburi Province was shattered by an explosion at the Banglamung Ice Factory. The blast, which occurred at approximately 11:36 p.m., sent chemical clouds billowing into the night sky, prompting immediate action from local officials.


The District Chief of Bang Lamung, Mr. Weekit Manarojkit, was swiftly informed of the catastrophe that unfolded at the facility located at No. 54, Village No. 12, Nong Prue Subdistrict. The explosion resulted in a chemical spread covering an area exceeding one kilometer, leading to a significant emergency response.

 

First responders, including land disaster prevention officials from Nong Prue Municipality and Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Pattaya rescue workers, converged on the scene. Their priority was the evacuation of individuals in the vicinity and the establishment of a perimeter, barring access within a two-kilometer radius to ensure public safety.

 

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The chemicals released, suspected to be ammonia, had immediate and severe effects on the local populace. More than 60 individuals suffered various injuries, ranging from loss of consciousness to respiratory distress and irritation of the eyes and nose. Rescue teams provided critical first aid before the victims were transported to nearby medical facilities for further treatment.

 

Eyewitness accounts from villagers living near the ice factory described the moment of the explosion as deafening, followed by the emergence of a noxious cloud that caused a burning sensation upon inhalation. 

 

By Adam Judd

 

Full story: THE PATTAYA NEWS 2024-04-18

 

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1 minute ago, hotchilli said:

Yet    again commercial businesses in the residential areas.

We got a place nearby, right in the village centre, next to the market, that makes ice, never thought of it as a risk... well perhaps to the workers in there getting a limb caught in some belt driven machine. 

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5 minutes ago, hotchilli said:

Yet    again commercial businesses in the residential areas.

or is it allowing residential properties to build around an industrial facility?

 

It's over by the rail line on the darkside....... most housing there is relatively new

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10 minutes ago, kwilco said:

Sure sign you don't think much, then.

Causes are usually lack of maintenance e.g. broken pipes or equipment failure: High-pressure pipes and equipment are used in ice factories to circulate the refrigerant. If these pipes or equipment break, it can cause a sudden release of pressure, which can lead to an explosion.

 Chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine are used in these factories. If these chemicals are not stored properly, they can explode if they come into contact with each other or with other incompatible materials.

These explosions can cause serious injuries or death to workers in the ice factory, as well as damage to the surrounding property. as seen, they can also release hazardous chemicals into the environment.


Great comment 

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18 minutes ago, hotchilli said:

Yet    again commercial businesses in the residential areas.


It is not considered a high risk industry. I agree that Thailand could do with better zoning, but even then, you are not going to remove all the hazards and risks.

 

Yes accidents occur, but it would be impossible to separate all commercial processes and residential areas, in Thailand or most countries.

 

“Ammonia is used in wastewater treatment, leather, rubber, paper, food and beverage industries. It also is used in cold storage, refrigeration systems and in the production of pharmaceuticals. Ammonia is used in the printing as well as cosmetics industries. It is also used in fermentation.”

Edited by Georgealbert
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Chemical explosion at Banglamung ice factory affects over 60 people
by Top Top

 

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Picture courtesy of Pattaya Rescue Facebook

 

A chemical explosion disrupted the peaceful night in Nongprue, near Pattaya, at the Banglamung Ice Factory last night, April 17. The explosion, taking place around 11.36pm, unleashed a cloud of chemicals into the sky, prompting swift action from local authorities. By 4am today, the situation was under control, with no deaths or severe injuries reported.

 

The District Chief of Bang Lamung, Weekit Manarojkit, was promptly notified about the incident at the factory located at No. 54, Village No. 12, Nong Prue Subdistrict. The explosion caused a spread of chemicals over an area of more than one kilometre, triggering a significant emergency response.

 

Emergency personnel, including Nong Prue Municipality land disaster prevention officials and rescue workers from Sawang Boriboon Thammasathan Pattaya, rushed to the scene. Their immediate task was to evacuate locals and secure a perimeter of 2 kilometres to ensure public safety.


The chemicals believed to be released in the explosion were suspected to be ammonia. This had a severe and immediate impact on the local population, with over 60 people affected. Injuries ranged from fainting to respiratory distress and irritation of the eyes and nose. The rescue teams provided initial medical treatment at the scene before the victims were transferred to nearby healthcare facilities for further care. Fortunately, there were no severe injuries or deaths.


Locals, who live near the ice factory, described the explosion as a deafening noise followed by the release of a harmful cloud of chemicals causing burning sensations when inhaled. Panic ensued, with many fleeing for safety, while others were immobilised by the fumes.

 

As the situation unfolded, District Chief Manarojkit, along with other administrative officials, arrived to supervise the rescue efforts. The exact number of injured individuals is still uncertain. Rescue operations are ongoing, with teams working relentlessly to reach affected individuals and provide necessary assistance, reported The Pattaya News.

 

Investigations into the cause of the explosion have commenced. The police are keen to prevent similar incidents in the future and ensure the safety of their citizens.

 

Source: The Thaiger 2024-04-18

 

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33 minutes ago, AAArdvark said:

Tgwrw goes the fine air quality 


Yes may cause a slight blip, but I expect the amount of ammonia released will be small and add very little to the other pollution already present.

 

The reporting and pictures look dramatic, but any emergency response has to be based on worse case scenario,, first setting up an initial evacuation zone, then evacuation of people downwind of the vapour cloud, depending on the chemical.

 

I very much doubt that a full evacuation was anywhere near completed, before the leak was either contained or all the ammonia had been released. Looking at some of the pictures water spray was used to control and disperse the vapours at the factory.

 

Thankfully it is reported only minor injuries, so a good, successful response by the emergency response services.

 

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Did it have a cooling effect around the region? In related news Police failed to identify the extent of damage as no debris was found, only water puddles which they suggested was from songkran festivities. Case was closed due to lack of solid evidence. 

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1 hour ago, kwilco said:

Sure sign you don't think much, then.

Causes are usually lack of maintenance e.g. broken pipes or equipment failure: High-pressure pipes and equipment are used in ice factories to circulate the refrigerant. If these pipes or equipment break, it can cause a sudden release of pressure, which can lead to an explosion.

 Chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine are used in these factories. If these chemicals are not stored properly, they can explode if they come into contact with each other or with other incompatible materials.

These explosions can cause serious injuries or death to workers in the ice factory, as well as damage to the surrounding property. as seen, they can also release hazardous chemicals into the environment.

Lack of maintenance in Thailand  :shock1:  

Surely you jest  :cheesy:

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I wonder how many people working there were aware of the dangers, all employees at such a facility should have received special training in safety and procedures 

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2 hours ago, kwilco said:

Sure sign you don't think much, then.

Causes are usually lack of maintenance e.g. broken pipes or equipment failure: High-pressure pipes and equipment are used in ice factories to circulate the refrigerant. If these pipes or equipment break, it can cause a sudden release of pressure, which can lead to an explosion.

 Chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine are used in these factories. If these chemicals are not stored properly, they can explode if they come into contact with each other or with other incompatible materials.

These explosions can cause serious injuries or death to workers in the ice factory, as well as damage to the surrounding property. as seen, they can also release hazardous chemicals into the environment.

Indeed, the huge explosion in Beirut a couple of years ago was chemical storage.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_industrial_disasters#:~:text=December 3%2C 1984%3A The Bhopal,Union Carbide India Limited plant.

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39 minutes ago, smedly said:

I wonder how many people working there were aware of the dangers, all employees at such a facility should have received special training in safety and procedures 


Yes you would expect staff involved in using the ammonia, maintenance and supervisors to have some specialist training.

 

But most staff, packagers, bottle fillers, machinists, drivers, office/sales would only get safety training, what do do in an emergency, evacuation procedures and you hope made aware that an ammonia leak would have a pungent smell. Their only contact with ammonia will be walking past the storage tanks.

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22 minutes ago, sandyf said:


Yes it was storage of ammonium nitrate, commonly used as fertiliser, which had been left for years and had decomposed.

 

Ammonium nitrate is also mixed with fuel oil, to make ANFO, for explosive blasting and terrorist bombs.

 

The big mistake was the storage of the fireworks, which provided the required ignition source for the decomposed ammonium nitrate.

 

Ammonium nitrate is safe if stored and used correctly, but like most disasters a combination of errors, failures and poor decisions caused the explosion, deaths and injuries.

 

This incident will be something like a tank/valve failure, process problem, human error or poor maintenance, things that occur far to often everywhere 

Edited by Georgealbert
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The regulation (or lack thereof) of indistrial zones and safety in Thailand is a serious and constant risk to public safety. I wouldn't want to live within a 100km of any chemical or petrochemical plant here..

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Ammonia Leak At Ice Factory Sends Scores To Hospital
by TNR Staff

 

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The ice factory where the ammonia leaked last night. Photo: Amarin TV

 

OVER a hundred people were hospitalised in Chonburi last night (Apr. 17) after ammonia leaked at an ice factory with people living within a kilometre radius of the plant told to evacuate, Amarin TV said this morning.

 

At 11.30 p.m. a disaster relief/rescue team took technicians wearing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) kits into Bang Lamung ice factory, in Naklua  subdistrict, to close the valve and evacuate those still within.

 

Pol. Maj. Gen. Thawatchakiat Jinda Kuansanong, commander of  Chonburi Provincial Police, quickly rushed to the scene and oversaw the spraying of water at the factory and nearby areas by disaster relief officials from Nong Prue municipality and Pattaya City to bring the highly irritating ammonia gas closer to the ground so that fewer people were affected.

 

Full story: THAI NEWSROOM 2024-04-18

 

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6 minutes ago, Excogitator said:

The regulation (or lack thereof) of indistrial zones and safety in Thailand is a serious and constant risk to public safety. I wouldn't want to live within a 100km of any chemical or petrochemical plant here..

Really?

 

This was a simple ice factory, not a chemical plant.

 

I would suggest you never eat out, if they are using LPG, the fire and explosion risk may scare you.

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