Suphan Buri, Thailand – An explosion at a fireworks factory in central Thailand has resulted in at least 20 deaths, with the actual toll remaining uncertain due to the extent of the devastation at the scene, according to provincial officials. The blast, which occurred in Suphan Buri, a city about 95 kilometers northwest of Bangkok, has left the death toll ambiguous as rescue workers continue to assess the situation. Photos from the scene depict a thick plume of black smoke and the factory site virtually leveled.
The information office of the Suphan Buri provincial government initially reported 23 fatalities from the mid-afternoon explosion, but later revised the figure to 19 dead and three missing. Meanwhile, the national Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation had initially estimated that at least 20 people were killed in the tragic incident. Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, who is in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, received the news through a video call from the regional police commander, revealing that 20 to 30 workers were present at the factory at the time of the explosion and that none could be found.
Kritsada Manee-In, a rescue worker, expressed difficulty in determining the exact count of casualties due to the bodies being in pieces, estimating that around 15 to 17 individuals were killed. The Lunar New Year, celebrated in February, often leads to high demand for fireworks in Thailand and other parts of Asia. As authorities continue to investigate the cause of the explosion, it is noted that there had been a previous explosion at the same factory in November 2022, resulting in one fatality and three serious injuries, as reported by the national police chief.
The devastating explosion at the fireworks factory has once again brought attention to the dangers associated with the production and storage of fireworks. This incident is another reminder of the risks faced by workers in such facilities, as well as the potential hazards to nearby residential areas. As the investigation continues, authorities are tasked with determining the cause of the blast and ensuring that legal action is taken for any wrongdoing involved.