Death toll in Suphan Buri fireworks blast rises to four


SUPHAN BURI, Jan 25 — One more victim in the Suphan Buri fireworks explosion has died in hospital, raising the death toll in the tragedy to four, while 74 persons overall were injured in Tuesday night’s incident.

Three people died at the scene and the fourth, one of those seriously injured later died at hospital, all men. Twenty people remain hospitalised.

The event was held at the City Pillar Shrine near the community’s Museum of the Descendants of the Dragon, or Heavenly Dragon Park. Fireworks lit up the sky to celebrate Chinese Lunar New Year festival held at this central province on Tuesday.

Minister of Public Health Wittaya Buranasiri visited the survivors at two local hospitals last night, and reported that 54 persons were discharged from hospital after treatment, while 20 others remained in two local hospitals, Chao Phraya Yomaraj and Supamitr.

Fifteen persons were admitted at Chao Phraya Yomaraj Hospital while five others were admitted to Supamitr Hospital, he said, among them three who were seriously injured.

Meanwhile, Mr Wittaya said he asked Chao Phraya Yomaraj Hospital to open its doors as a temporary shelter for the victims whose homes were damaged by the fire that engulfed the community at Wat Phra That, the neighbourhood temple which was also severely damaged.

The minister said he liaised with Deputy Prime Minister/Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit and Suphan Buri Governor Somsak Phurisrisak to provide care for the victims.

An investigation is underway to find the cause of the incident to determine whether the blasts were caused by malfunctioning or failure of equipment, or by human error.