Bangkok, Thailand: An explosion near Bangkok’s international airport on Monday engulfed a plastics business, killing at least one firefighter and injuring 27 others, according to officials.
As rescuers proceeded to evacuate inhabitants near the location, heavy plumes of black smoke could be seen rising into the sky from the city’s downtown 35 kilometers (21 miles) distant.
Around 3 a.m., a blast happened at Ming Dih Chemical Co., a Taiwanese company located near Suvarnabhumi Airport on the outskirts of Bangkok.
“We have 27 injured, mostly from cuts, and one dead who was a firefighter,” said Somsak Kaewsena, the chief of Bang Pli district where the factory is located.
He told AFP that 500 people have been relocated to two shelters so far. Residents in wheelchairs were evacuated by lunchtime to a local school, which was roughly 9 kilometers away.
According to Lieutenant General Ampon Buarubporn, the public has been ordered to keep away from the blast location for at least 500 meters.
“We do not know if there is anything left to explore,” he said, adding that authorities are still working to get the fire under control.
Thousands of inhabitants were told to leave for their safety via loudspeakers while rescue workers drove around the neighborhood in emergency trucks.
The cause of the explosion has yet to be determined.