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Firefighters Contain Blaze on Thai Oil Tanker Smooth Sea 2

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Firefighters have extinguished a blaze on an oil tanker that caught fire while moored at a pier in Samut Prakan, on Wednesday.

One crewman was seriously injured and is being treated in a hospital. Two other men suffered only minor injuries. The captain of the oil tanker said one crew member was missing.
As rescuers searched the fire-blackened oil tanker Smooth Sea 2, they found the burnt remains of one person.

It was not known whether the remains found were those of the missing person.

Firefighters reported finding a human head, a right leg, a right arm and a left ankle. All were badly burned. The rest of the body was missing, they said.

A team from the Marine Department would search for the rest of the body. The Port Authority said forensic examination of the recovered remains would be carried out at the Forensic Institute.

According to officials, no identification has been made from the body parts.

Investigation into Oil Tanker Blaze

Deputy Transport Minister Atirat Ratanasate inspected the scene of the fire at Phra Pradaeng Pier. An investigation into the cause of the fire was ordered.

Atirat stressed that the first priority was to find the missing person. It is believed that all three injured people are safe at this time.

The fire and smoke and vapour pollution affected about 200 households in three adjoining communities, and the company would have to compensate them, he said.

The authorities were checking whether dangerous levels of oil or gas vapour were present on the vessel.

The fire scene and pier of IRPC Co on Suksawat Road in tambon Bang Khru would be cordoned off for inspection.

Samut Prakan police chief Pol Maj Gen Chumphon Phumphuang said authorities would accept complaints from nearby residents affected by the blaze. Photographs of any damage should be included with complaints to the Phra Pradaeng police.

No Oil or Fuel Leaking

The fire broke out around 9 am on the Smooth Sea 2, which was moored at the IRPC Co. pier on Suksawat Road in tambon Bang Khru.

Sompong Jirasirilert, deputy director-general of the Marine Department, said one person, Peerakarn Pongsa, was seriously injured and is being treated at Bang Pakok Hospital 3. An additional person remains missing. He was identified as Mr. Sankadiyapong Sa-nguanphan.

According to Mr. Sompong, there were no leaks of oil into the Chao Phraya River following the containment of the blaze. An inspection of the fire-damaged tanker had been requested by the Samut Prakan marine office.

On Tuesday, a Thai flagged vessel left Rayong province and arrived at the IRPC pier around 8 pm that night. Mr. Paramet Prasertwong has been identified as the captain.

Oil Tanker Blaze controlled

According to authorities, the tanker was carrying approximately 1.8 million litres of gasoline 91 and 1.3 million litres of diesel at the time of the fire.

The fire was brought under control in about 30 minutes by firefighters at the pier. A missing man was being searched for by firefighters at the pier.

Mr. Ratthaphum Rattanachan, a member of the crew, said the ship was preparing to leave an explosion erupted in the middle of the tanker. A loud bang was followed by flames.

According to Mr. Ratthaphum, one person was seriously injured and taken to Bang Pakok Hospital 3. Another crew member also suffered minor wrist injuries, he said. There was still one crew member unaccounted for, he said.

Police and the Port Authority are continuing to investigate the cause of the blaze.

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