More than 130 people were admitted to hospital following an explosion and fire aboard a KMTC containership at Thailand’s Laem Chabang terminal.
The incident occurred on board the 1,600 TEU containership KMTC Hong Kong early on May 24. The fire involved hazardous cargo on the ship, thereby forcing officials to evacuate and temporarily close three piers in Thailand’s eastern Laem Chabang port.
Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health informed that there were no major injuries.
Initial reports suggested that the fire broke out in a load of cargo containing the chemical calcium hypochlorite, Reuters cited port director Yuthana Mokkao as saying.
As of the morning hours of May 26, the fire was understood to be under control or extinguished, while authorities turned their attention to chemical contamination at sea, on land and in the air. Booms were deployed around the ship and emergency teams are collecting fluid slime from destroyed or damaged containers.
Media reports suggested that there were 676 containers on board the vessel when it arrived at the terminal, 443 of which were offloaded with 35 more to go. Among containers destroyed or damaged by explosion and fire, five tank containers were loaded with liquid paraffin and 13 contained calcium hypochlorite.
Relevant authorities launched an investigation into the incident.
World Maritime News Staff