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Bangkok factory explosion leaves multiple casualties

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Heavy smoke billows from an explosion and fire at a plastics factory in Bangkok on Jul 5, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

An explosion near Thai capital Bangkok's international airport Monday left a plastics factory in flames, killing at least one firefighter and wounding 27 people, officials said.

Heavy plumes of black smoke could be seen rising up to the sky from the city's downtown 35 kilometers [21 miles] away, as rescuers continued to evacuate residents near the site.

The blast occurred around 3 a.m. at Taiwan-based Ming Dih Chemical Co., located on the outskirts of Bangkok near Suvarnabhumi airport.

"We have 27 injured, mostly from cuts, and one dead who was a firefighter," said Somsak Kaewsena, the chief of Bang Pli district where the factory is located.

He told AFP that 500 residents had so far been evacuated to two shelters. By noon, elderly residents in wheelchairs were evacuated to a nearby school about 9 kilometers away.

The public have been ordered to stay away from a radius of at least 500 meters around the blast site, said Lieutenant General Ampon Buarubporn.

"We do not know if there is anything left to explode," he said, adding that authorities are still working to get the fire under control.

The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

(Source: AFP)

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