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Fire at Bangkok's Bangchak refinery; blaze under control


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BANGKOK, July 4 --Fire broke out at the Bangchak refinery complex in Bangkok’s Phra Khanong district but the blaze is now under control and fire officials and refinery engineers are investigating to find the cause of the accident.

The fire erupted at about 7.20am at the Bangchak Petroleum refinery as well as oil distribution centre, between the Chao Phraya River and Sukhumvit Road Soi 64. At 8am the company announced that the fire was under control and an investigation was underway.

Witnesses heard an explosion which shook the area around the refinery, before the fire belched out thick black smoke across the sky.

Department of Energy Business Director General Somnuk Bomrungsalee said that the initial investigation showed that the accident happened at fractionating tower number one.

A boiler there may have leaked, he said, similar to the incident that caused the fire at the refinery complex on Jan 14, 2011, he said.

The fire has not spread to the oil depot, he said, and the company is confident that the blaze would not spread to neighbouring communities or otherwise become worse. It will not affect Thailand’s oil reserves, he said.

No casualties were reported. 

The Bangchak refinery complex has a maximum crude processing capacity of 120,000 barrels per day. (MCOT online news)

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