Calcium Hypochlorite Believed to Have Caused Major Fire on Container Ship at Laem Chabang Port in Thailand; Up to 200 Injured and 3 Piers Closed

UPDATE May 26: “Throughout night and day May 26 fire though under control, was still smoldering in some containers. Reportedly, 35 loaded containers were destroyed or damaged. Authorities prohibited to release overboard water used in firefighting, because it is contaminated. Calcium hypochlorite is believed, as of now, to be the cause of the fire, but there’s no explosion/fire chronicle, to analyze the development of fire. Up to 200 people, including local residents, said to be medically treated. Explosion debris fallout hit one of the main Thailand highways, Sukhumvit Road, which is crossing Sri Racha and Laem Chabang towns. Investigation already under way, with Korean ship owner being, it is rumored, of a major interest for investigators, though fire and explosion of cargo in containers can hardly be his fault.” (Source:Maritime Bulletin)

May 25: Cargo – including chemicals – were on fire in Thailand’s eastern Laem Chabang port on Saturday, forcing officials to evacuate workers and temporarily close three piers, authorities said.

More than 130 people were taken to hospital, some complaining of irritation in the eyes and throat, others of a burning sensation on the skin, but there were no major injuries, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

Red flames and clouds of thick black and white smoke poured out of the South Korean container ship KMTC Hongkong Co. through the morning and early afternoon at pier A2, port director Yuthana Mokkao told international media.

Initial checks showed the blaze broke out in a load of cargo containing the chemical calcium hypochlorite, he said. “We closed the pier where the fire broke out and two others that were affected by the fire.”

Source: Reuters

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