12 dead in Thailand factory fire


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The Independent Online

A fire caused by explosions in one of the world's largest petrochemical industrial estates has killed 12 and injured more than 100 people in eastern Thailand.

The blaze yesterday forced an evacuation of workers and more than 1,000 residents near the Map Ta Phut industrial estate, Thailand's largest industrial park, in Rayong province, 110 miles south-east of Bangkok.

Rayong governor Seni Jittakasem said today authorities were investigating the cause of the explosions that occurred when workers were cleaning a chemical tank at Bangkok Synthetics plant, a synthetic rubber manufacturer.

He said all evacuees have returned home.

The fire was put under control after four hours of chemical burning that sent plumes of thick smoke over a wide area.