Seven dock workers are feared dead after a tanker exploded in Thailand while undergoing maintenance on January 16 at approximately 9 a.m. local time.
When the incident occurred, the 2018-built, 6,500 dwt Smooth Sea 22, one of seven tankers owned by Thai tanker operator Smooth Sea, was anchored at Ruammitr Dockyard along Mae Klong river in Muang district. It took firefighters more than an hour to put out the fire.
Smooth Sea transports clean petroleum products throughout Thai territorial waters.The explosion was so powerful that windows in homes several kilometers away shattered.
Governor Somnuek stated that welding was being performed on Smooth Sea 22 at the time of the explosion. At the time, ten dock workers were aboard the vessel and thirty others along the dockyard’s bank.
The explosion severed the leg of one worker and his body was discovered. The branch was discovered 500 meters from the tanker.
Six Myanmar nationals and one Thai dockworker remain missing. The Bangkok Post cited unconfirmed reports that a second body had been discovered. Three Myanmar nationals and one Thai were injured among the four workers.
The governor disclosed that upon inspection of the tanker wreckage, 25,000 liters of fuel oil and 20,000 liters of gasoil were discovered in the Smooth Sea 22’s tanks, even though the vessel had been declared empty.
The relevant parties will be questioned to determine whether the Occupational Health and Safety Act was violated, and the explosion’s cause will be investigated.