Police say that nine people are being treated in hospital as a result of the chemical leak at the Indorama Polyester Industries factory in Nakhon Pathom in central Thailand on Thursday morning.
The leak caused a “foul, burning stench” which impacted three districts of the province, forcing the temporary closure of several schools.
Deputy Commander of the Nakhon Pathom Provincial Police force Pol. Cl. Pongsawat Khampachu revealed that nine people have fallen ill after being exposed to the chemical, which was identified by authorities as “hot oil down term DT1.”
All nine patients are being treated for vomiting and rashes after breathing in the chemical, said the police. Eight patients are staying at Phuttamonthon Hospital and one patient is staying at Nakhon Chai Si Hospital, both in Nakhon Pathom province.
The factory has been ordered to close for 30 days while the exact cause and impact of the chemical leak are investigated.
Chemical leak forces school closures in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand
Residents of Nakhon Pathom province are warned to stay indoors as a major chemical leak occurred at the Indorama Polyester Industries factory in Nakhon Chai Si district at 6.15am this morning.
People from miles around reported a “foul, burning stench” emanating through the sky, originating from the plastic production factory on Petchkasem Road in Khun Kaew subdistrict.
Several schools including Thammaraksa School and Mahidol University International Demonstration School have been evacuated and have announced temporary closures.
Thailand’s Pollution Control Department (PCD) and Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation launched an investigation into the leak. The departments identified the chemical as “hot oil down term DT1,” which they say is an aromatic benzene compound used as a heat exchanger in the plastic production process.
At 10.20am, the Environment and Pollution Control Office 5 asked locals to avoid going outdoors, wear a mask at all times and see a doctor right away if they experience abnormal symptoms.
The leak can reportedly be smelt as far away as Nonthaburi province, according to one resident…
“Initially, I thought I could smell burning plastic waste. But after surveying the neighbourhood, I didn’t find anyone burning trash. Later on, I heard that there was a chemical leak from a factory in Nakhon Pathom, but it is very far away from here.”
Staff from Indorama Polyester Industries Ltd. said the leak occurred as a result of an accident at the factory at about 6.15am this morning. The staff said the leak has been fixed.
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Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.
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