Mass evacuations after blast in Bangkok

·1-min read

Thousands of people on the outskirts of Thailand's capital are being evacuated and firefighters battled blazes for hours after a factory explosion that killed one rescue worker and wounded 29 people.

Residents in Samut Prakan province who live within a five-kilometre radius of the factory, owned by a Taiwanese company, were being moved away as precaution, authorities said.

Local disaster authorities said 70 houses were damaged and fires were still being fought nine hours after the explosion in the early hours of Monday. The cause of the blast had yet to be determined.

"At first it felt like lightning. After that, I heard something drop loudly, and for a while the house started shaking like there was an earthquake," said Baitong Nisarat, a resident.

The factory, which makes expandable polystyrene foam, is located about 4.8 km from Bangkok's main Suvarnabhumi international airport.

The airport said flights and its operations were not impacted by the blast.

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