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Startled Smoker Ignites Plutaluang Village Oil Blaze


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A Sattahip house used for storing illegal benzyl oil caught fire, which spread to two other homes. The fire began when two workers dropped an oil tank being unloading from a truck. A lit cigarette fell from the mouth of the surprised worker, which ignited the spilled oil on the ground.

SATTAHIP – March 12, 2013 [PDN]; at 9 p.m., a report of a fire burning many people’s houses was received by Pol. Lt. Col. Natthavuth Srithongpech, investigation officer, Plutaluang police station. He rushed to the scene with 5 fire trucks from Plutaluang Subdistrict Administrative Organization, Sattahip municipal; and the rescue officers of Sawangrojjanatharmmasatharn Sattahip foundation.

The fire was burning in the National Housing Authority village, Chonburi Eua Arthorn house, Plutaluang 2, Moo 4, Tambon Plutaluang, Amphur Sattahip, Chonburi province.

Officers arrived at the scene of the fire, a 2-story concrete house in the middle of the village with more than 100 houses nearby. The origin of the fire was at the house address 215/81, which then spread to burn the nearby house numbers 215/80 and 215/82, until all three houses were burnt.

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No one got injured or died from the fire, but the house owner escaped. The fire burnt severely, and there were the noises of frequent continual explosions.

There were more than 1,000 liters of benzyl oil fueling the flames, so it was difficult to extinguish the fire. The electrical workers had to cut the electric current in the house. The firefighters sprayed a large amount of water for more than an hour to stop the fire.

After the fire was extinguished, officers inspected the scene. Under the first house where the fire began, they found a benzyl oil tank with a 200-liter capacity size for 15 tanks.

In front of the house, there was a white 6-wheeler truck, and a black Mitsubishi pickup truck. The back of the pickup truck was modified to be a container of oil with a 2,000-liter capacity. There was also a parked motorbike burnt by fire.

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Police questioned a bystander and eyewitness, Mr. Samrerng Chunu, age 30. He said that before fire occurred, he saw 2 men drive the 6-wheeler truck back to park in the house where the fire started.

They began to unload 200-liter tanks containing benzyl oil from the truck. But they were careless in handling the last tank, which fell to the ground and spilled the oil.

This startled one of the men, who had a lit cigarette dangling from his mouth. The cigarette fell to the ground from his mouth and ignited the spilled oil. When the 2 men saw that they could not control the fire, they ran away to escape. Then the fire burnt severely so the neighbors ran away to escape chaotically.

Pol. Lt. Col. Natthavuth Srithongpech, investigation officer, revealed that from inspecting the evidence, police initially assumed that the house is used by a gang who is selling illegal oil. They were using the house to store the oil, which they sold to groups of customers.

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Police discovered the house formerly belonged to a well-known female DJ of a radio program, but it had already changed ownership after being sold by auction.

However, the police will coordinate with the owner of village project to bring the house owner to be investigated, to see whether he is involved in the smuggling and selling of illegal oil or not. The forensic police will also inspect to find evidence of the exact cause of the fire.

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Type : Crime News
Story : Nattaphummint
Photo : Nattaphummint

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