One killed, three injured in explosion on tanker in Chao Phraya River, Thailand

Photo: Boonwipa Rescue Volunteer official Facebook page

An explosion on an oil tanker in the Chao Phraya River in Thailand earlier this week has left one person dead and another three with less severe injuries.

The Thai-registered tanker Ampar 8 was underway near Phra Samut Chedi district en route to Bangkok when it was rocked by an onboard blast at around 13:50 local time on Sunday, March 27.

The explosion was soon followed by a fire near the bow, resulting in thick black smoke that eventually engulfed the ship.

The Royal Thai Navy and local disaster response teams sent firefighting and rescue boats to the area to render assistance.

The captain and 12 other crewmen, three of whom were injured, were safely rescued.

A badly burned body was later found by rescue teams in the surrounding waters. The deceased individual has since been identified as the tanker’s deputy captain, 43-year-old Prasit Supatthawan.

The surviving crewmen said Mr Prasit jumped overboard as the flames spread throughout their ship.

A local transport official said the tanker was transporting around three million litres of crude oil between Chonburi and Bangkok at the time of the explosion.

Other officials clarified that there were no oil spills detected from the damaged vessel.

The incident on Ampar 8 is this month’s second deadly explosion involving a tanker in Thai waters. The earlier incident, which occurred on the product tanker Smooth Sea 2 near Bangkok on March 10, had killed one crewman and injured three others.

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