BANGKOK – Authorities at Suvarnabhumi Airport are investigating after fertilizer components in a passenger suitcase ignited at a check in counter before being loaded onto the aircraft.
Fire reportedly broke out spontaneously in a suitcase on a conveyor belt as it was heading toward being loaded onto Bangkok Airways flight PG 931 leaving Suvarnabhumi Airport in the Thai capital for Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital.
Initial investigation found that the suitcase contained fertilizer components. Police believe that the flame erupted as a result of chemical reaction caused by heat or friction.
Further investigation into the cause of the fire is underway.
In the latest development, caretaker Transport Minister Chadchart Sittipunt said according to the report given to him that the blaze occurred at the check-in counter but the suitcase, containing a bag loaded with phosphorus intended for an exhibition in Cambodia, had not yet passed through the CTX baggage scanning machine.
Suvarnabhumi Airport manager Raweewan Netarakavesana explained that the suitcase belonged to Mr Pongkan Kositthammanant, the owner of Pongkan Alliance Co, a supplement food dealer, who was leaving for Cambodia on Bangkok Airways Flight PG 931.
The incident occurred at 6.17am as his suitcase packed with two bags and four containers of organic fertilizer containing explosive mat was heading toward a conveyor belt.
There were no reports of serious damage caused by the blaze as airport staff immediately rushed to extinguish the fire. She said service returned to normal within one hour.