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Early investigations into the cause of a huge fire at an oil refinery, which happened early Wednesday morning in Bangkok, suggest that an oil or gas leak was to blame.
Anusorn Sangnimnuan, the president of Bangchak Petroleum, the company operating the refinery, announced that “there are no injuries. We assume oil or gas leaked out and somehow it caught fire. I don't think the cause was human error, it was caused by equipment.”
The leak caused an explosion which woke local residents, and then quickly sparked a massive blaze, sending plumes of thick, black smoke into the sky. No injuries have been reported, but local authorities have handed out masks to thousands of people to stop them from breathing in the acrid smoke.
Pongsawat Sawadiwat, the Minister of Industry, replied to the fire by closing the refinery for at least 30 days whilst the cause can be determined and the appropriate repairs made. “Initially the refinery will be shut down for 30 days to investigate the cause of fire,” he said.
The refinery is Thailand’s largest, processing 120,000 barrels of oil per day. Repairs will be made as quickly as possible to avoid the risk of a disruption to oil supplies.
By. Joao Peixe of Oilprice.com
Joao is a writer for Oilprice.com