One person died, nine were injured and seven are missing after an empty oil tanker caught fire, which was followed by explosions, while it was undergoing maintenance at a dockyard on the Mae Klong River in Mueang district of Samut Songkhram on Tuesday morning.

According to an advisor to the Labour Minister, there were eight men working on the tanker when the first explosion occurred. The foreman, who was in the engine room, then told the workers to leave the ship immediately. Three more explosions were then heard on board the ship.

According to the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre, there was an explosion on the Smooth Sea 22 tanker at about 9.17am, in the dockyard of Ruam Mitr Dockyard Company in Laem Yai sub-district.

The explosion shattered windows in a few houses near the dockyard and some people sustained minor injuries. More people were later found to be injured and one of them died. Seven others are still unaccounted for.

Samut Songkhram Governor Somnuk Phromkeaw said this afternoon (Tuesday) that the fire was mostly under control, adding that a relief command centre has been set up to take care of about 80 crew of the vessel, including about 30 Thais.

The oil tanker moored at the dockyard on January 12th, after it had unloaded all of its oil.



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