6 More Bodies Found After Oil Tanker Explosion in Thailand
Six more workers were found dead yesterday after an explosion and fire aboard an oil tanker at a dockyard on the Mae Klong River just south of Bangkok, Thailand on Tuesday.
The explosion happened around 9.25 a.m. on Tuesday, while the Smooth Sea 22 tanker was moored at Ruammitr Dockyard in tambon Laem Yai, Muang district, for annual maintenance.
At the time, there were 27 dock workers on board or near the vessel. Many people were initially reported missing, but the vast majority were later found.
A search was launched, with rescuers from various foundations taking part. On Tuesday, two charred bodies were discovered.
At 9.10 a.m. yesterday, a third body was discovered in the river and brought ashore at Wat Pak Samut pier, bringing the total number of confirmed deaths to three. Five more workers’ bodies were discovered later.
Polaseth Laohakanvanich, the leader of a rescue team, confirmed that eight workers had been found dead in total.
He stated that four other workers were hurt. Two of those killed were Myanmar workers identified only as Thui and Ako.
A severed right ankle was also discovered by the search team. It was unknown from whose body it came.
The Marine Department, according to Sorapong Paithoonpong, deputy permanent secretary for transport, will investigate the explosion and consider compensation for those affected by the blast.
Puripat Teerakulpisuth, deputy director-general of the Marine Department, stated that he has formed an investigation committee whose findings are expected in 10 days.
The oil tanker’s crew, as well as safety officers from Ruammitr Dockyard, will be questioned.
The Smooth Sea 22 tanker is insured with two different companies: H & M and P & I Club. The H&M policy is worth 60 million baht and is valid until March 26. The other, with P & I Club, provides $1 billion in coverage and is valid until February 20.
The Marine Department will consult with the company, Smooth Sea, and Samut Songkhram agencies about compensation for the injured, families of those killed, and other people affected by the explosion.
Houses on both sides of the river were damaged by flying debris and the blast’s shockwave.
Somnuek Promkhieo, governor of Samut Songkhram, said he had tasked the Laem Yai tambon administrative organization with establishing a complaints center at Wat Pak Samut in tambon Laem Yai, where people can register for compensation.
Thailand’s Navy Continues searching for bodies
Meanwhile, the Royal Thai Navy is still looking for the remaining five crew members of the HTMS Sukhothai, which went down a month ago, according to navy chief Adm Choengchai Chomchoengpaet. The navy has already rescued 76 sailors and discovered the bodies of 24 others.
Despite the fact that the warship sank a month ago, Adm Choengchai stated yesterday that the navy will continue to search for the missing crewmen. He stated that the sailors who died in this tragic incident are regarded by the navy as national heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice while on duty.
Adm. Choengchai also stated that a salvage operation would begin in April when tidal currents are calm.
On December 18, high winds and strong waves caused seawater to enter HTMS Sukhothai, a Royal Thai Navy corvette of the Rattanakosin class operating in the Gulf of Thailand off Bang Saphan district, Prachuap Khiri Khan province.
The flooding caused the engines to fail, rendering the pumps inoperable. The warship continued to absorb water until it eventually sank.
Despite the fact that the warship had sunk for a month, the navy would continue its search for the missing crewmen, Adm. Choengchai said.
So far, the navy has rescued 76 sailors and discovered 24 dead, with five still missing. He stated that the sailors who died in this tragic incident are regarded by the navy as heroes who gave their lives while on duty.
Their names will be added to the list of heroes on Thai Navy Memorial Day next January 17, the admiral said.