A massive explosion shook the small town of Muang in Samut Songkhram on Tuesday morning, as the oil tanker Smooth Sea 22 caught fire at a nearby dockyard.
The boat had been undergoing regular maintenance at Ruammitr Dockyard in tambon Laem Yai, and thankfully all of its tanks were empty at the time of the blast. Unfortunately, the damage caused was still immense, with glass window panes being shattered in houses located up to several kilometres away.
Efforts quickly began to contain the blaze, however eight workers from the dockyard were missing in the aftermath, leaving local residents and the authorities deeply concerned.
The Marine Department is now investigating the cause of the fire and has launched a full search to locate the missing dockyard workers. In a statement they said: “We are doing all we can to put this incident behind us as soon as possible and to ensure the safety of all involved.”
The coastal town of Muang has now been left reeling from the incident and local residents are urging the authorities to take action to prevent anything similar happening in the future. The Smooth Sea 22 explosion serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of working and playing near water, and the importance of regular maintenance for boats of all sizes.