BANGKOK, Thailand – A tragic explosion at a fireworks factory in the central region of Thailand has claimed the lives of at least 20 people, according to the government’s disaster relief agency. The incident also left several others injured, though the exact number remains undisclosed. The Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation stated that they are in the process of investigating the cause of the explosion and working to provide assistance to those affected.
The factory in the Suphan Buri province, located approximately 95 kilometers northwest of Bangkok, was the site of the devastating explosion. The Prime Minister, who was away in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, was informed of the situation by the regional police commander via a video distributed by his office. According to the commander, there were 20 to 30 workers at the factory when the explosion occurred, and none of them could be located.
Witnesses and rescue workers at the scene described a harrowing sight, with photos posted on social media showing a thick plume of black smoke rising over the blast site. The factory itself was virtually leveled, with debris and body parts scattered across the area. The National police chief confirmed reports of a previous explosion at the same factory in November last year, which claimed the life of one worker and left three others seriously injured. Legal action is expected to be pursued for any wrongdoing involved in both incidents.
This recent blast comes less than a month before Chinese New Year, a period when demand for fireworks is typically high. The tragic event is a grim reminder of the dangers associated with the fireworks industry. In July last year, a similar explosion at a fireworks warehouse in southern Thailand also took the lives of at least 10 people and caused extensive damage to nearby residential areas. The cause of that explosion was attributed to construction work in the warehouse igniting the fireworks stored inside.
The Suphan Buri explosion once again highlights the need for strict safety regulations and enforcement in the fireworks industry, as well as the importance of continuously reviewing and improving workplace safety standards to prevent similar tragedies in the future.