PM sets up tripartite committee to watch over air quality in Map Ta Phut

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RAYONG, May 6 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra sets up a tripartite committee to monitor air quality around the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate following a fire and explosion at a petrochemical factory on Saturday.

The incident, which occurred at a unit of Bangkok Synthetics Co (BST) in the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong on Saturday, has killed 12 people and injured about 130 others.

The tripartite committee consists of officials from the Natural Resources and Environment Minister, the Pollution Control Department, and the industrial estate and private sector to check on air quality and assess the information every three months.

The prime minister said that the situation has returned to normal and the industrial estate will be responsible for the damages and loss of lives.

She instructed for emergency response drills to be conducted and ordered the Interior and Industrial ministries to improve information dissemination to create confidence among local residents returning to their normal lives.

The chemical leak threat from the explosion and fire at the factory prompted local residents around the industrial estate to evacuate their homes on Saturday.

Ms Yingluck also had the public health ministry set up emergency medical units to take measurements around communities in the vicinity of the industrial estate to ensure no toxic residues persisted in the air.

Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, accompanied by Interior Minister Yongyuth Wichaidit and Industry Minister Pongsvas Svasti, on Sunday visited the injured at the Map Ta Phut hospital to give them moral support and disburse some compensation money.

The prime minister met governors, executives of the industrial estate and public health officials to discuss measures to prevent impacts from the explosion.