Residents around burned-out chemical factory near Bangkok allowed to return home

Officials look at a diagram showing the extent of the devastation at the burned-out chemical factory in Bang Phli.

Authorities have allowed residents living within a 2-5 kilometre radius of the burned-out Ming Dih Chemical factory, in Bang Phli district of Samut Prakan province near Bangkok to return home after the Pollution Control Department (PCD) confirmed air quality in the area is at a safe level.

Provincial governor Wanchai Kongkasem said on Wednesday that all areas within that radius had been examined, to ensure safety when people return.

He said the management team handling the chemicals are still voicing concern over residual amounts of styrene monomer in large tanks at the site, which have yet to be cleared following the blaze. Chemical residues in surrounding areas must also be dealt with.

Meanwhile, Thai Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varavuth Silpa-archa instructed the Department of Groundwater Resources to expedite quality checks on water sources, both above and below ground, within a 12km radius of the factory. (NNT)