Eight Thai shipyard workers missing following tanker explosion

Smooth Sea 22 in 2010 (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Geir Vinnes)

Eight people have been reported as missing after an oil tanker suffered an onboard explosion while undergoing maintenance in central Thailand’s Kanchanaburi province on Tuesday, January 17.

The explosion on the 6,500DWT Smooth Sea 22 occurred on the morning (local time) of Tuesday as the ship was docked at Ruammitr Dockyard on the Mae Klong River in Laem Yai for regular maintenance.

The blast generated shock waves that shattered the windows of nearby houses. The shock waves were reportedly felt as far as several kilometres away.

A fire was also detected on board the tanker and was brought under control about an hour later, officials of the country’s Marine Department confirmed.

An investigation has been launched to identify the events that led to the incident as authorities are continuing their search for the eight missing individuals, all of whom are workers at the shipyard.

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