Two Thais killed in factory fire in Taiwan


Beijing (AP) — Taiwan is mourning the deaths of five firefighters and two Thai migrant workers in a weekend blaze at a computer equipment factory.

The fire broke out Saturday night at a plant belonging to Chin Poon Industrial in the city of Taoyuan just south of the capital, Taipei, the official Central News Agency reported.

CNA said the firefighters had lost contact with colleagues outside and became trapped under heavy equipment. Another seven firefighters were injured in the blaze, it said.

It quoted Chin Poon spokesman Hsiao Kung-yen as saying Sunday that the first fire alarm sounded in an area where thin layers of polymer are applied to printed circuit boards.

Large amounts of flammable chemicals apparently fueled the blaze and five firefighters were injured by being splashed with caustic and acidic materials. A total of 189 firefighters and 67 trucks and ambulances were sent to the scene of the fire, CNA said.

The two Thai nationals were 24-year-old Phanupong Sangiem from Chachoengsao province and 42-year-old Chertsak Buramsungnern from Buriram.

The two individuals were legally employed in Taiwan and were part of the fund managed by the Department of Employment to assist workers abroad. Therefore, their families are eligible to receive 40,000 baht in compensation, plus a reimbursement for funeral expenses not exceeding 40,000 baht.

Local labor officials in Chachoengsao and Buriram were dispatched to their families’ homes to offer their condolences, as well as to inform them of their compensation. Requests from the families to transfer the bodies back to Thailand have been forwarded to the Thai labor office in Taipei.