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Rayong’s Fiery Wake-Up Call: Kamonthas Kittisoonthornsakul Spearheads Safety Crusade After Map Ta Phut Blaze

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On a seemingly ordinary day in Rayong, the tranquility of Map Ta Phut Port was shattered as flames and billowing smoke emerged from a tank filled with pyrolysis gasoline, painting the sky with its fiery temper on May 9. This wasn’t a scene from an action movie; it was a grim reality that unfolded, highlighting the ever-present dangers lurking in industrial areas. As captured by the lenses of the Emergency Incident Command of Rayong, the visuals serve as a stark reminder of the unpredictable nature of industrial operations.

Caught in a recurring nightmare of warehouse and factory fires, the latest inferno at Map Ta Phut Tank Terminal (MTT) has set the alarms blaring louder than ever. With the ashes still warm, the House committee on industry, under the vigilant eye of Move Forward Party’s fervent MP for Rayong, Kamonthas Kittisoonthornsakul, is gearing up for a crucial meeting. As the Wednesday gathering looms, its agenda is crystal clear – forging a robust shield against the specter of industrial misfortunes and stitching a safety net for the inevitable.

The recent calamity at MTT’s pyrolysis gas (pygas) tank didn’t just ignite fuel; it sparked a tragic tally to 10 chemical and/or industrial fires, brandishing its fury with a death and leaving four wounded. May has been particularly incendiary, witnessing five infernos, including the ghostly dance of flames at a deserted chemical warehouse in Ayutthaya’s Phachi district on the second day of the month. Amidst this fiery mayhem, Kamonthas’s detective instincts have sniffed out inconsistencies in the post-blast environmental assessments at Map Ta Phut.

In a revelation that may twist the plot, Kamonthas has cast a shadow of doubt over the air quality evaluations conducted in the aftermath. According to her, the compass of scrutiny pointed in the wrong direction. While authorities reassured based on data from tambon Map Ta Phut, the ominous winds whispered a different tale in tambon Huai Pong. Here, a chorus of at least 60 locals raised alarms about health afflictions borne from the toxic embrace of smoke and fire.

Rayong, a province that wears its industrial heart on its sleeve, finds itself at a crossroads. Despite being branded a pollution-control area back in 2009, its landscape continues to welcome factory smokestacks with open arms. It’s a love affair that Kamonthas insists must evolve, calling for an emergency notification system upgrade and a fresh take on pollution assessments for factories woven into Rayong’s industrial tapestry.

Amidst this environmental and industrial saga, Samart Ratchapolsitte, a veteran of Bangkok’s political scene, turns to his digital soapbox, Facebook. With the confidence of someone who’s navigated the murky waters of urban governance, he posits that Thailand’s pollution laws aren’t just parchment relics but shields that stand guard against such fiery tempests. The incident at Map Ta Phut, however, serves as a reminder of the gap between legislation and the reality on the ground – a chasm that demands more than just laws to bridge.

As the story of Rayong’s fight against industrial blazes unfolds, it’s a narrative tinged with tragedy, resilience, and an urgent call for action. It’s a reminder that in the battle between industry and safety, complacency is the enemy and vigilance the ally. The events at Map Ta Phut Port may have been doused, but the embers of change have been ignited, propelling a quest for a future where the skies of Rayong aren’t painted with the strokes of industrial fury.


  1. SamJ May 13, 2024

    Honestly, these industrial areas are ticking time bombs. We keep seeing these catastrophes, and yet, it’s like nothing changes. It’s high time industries and the government took our safety seriously.

    • EcoWarrior22 May 13, 2024

      Right? It’s all about profit over people for these corporations. They won’t change unless forced to. What we need is a massive overhaul of the regulatory system.

    • TechieGuy May 13, 2024

      While I agree on the need for stricter regulations, let’s not overlook the role of technology in prevention. Wouldn’t advanced monitoring and automation systems help in early detection and possibly prevention of such large-scale disasters?

      • SamJ May 14, 2024

        That’s a valid point, TechieGuy. Technology could play a key role, but without political will and corporate responsibility, it’s just a band-aid on a bullet wound.

  2. RayongLocal May 13, 2024

    I live here, and let me tell you, it’s scary every time a siren goes off. We’re tired of being treated like collateral damage. Kamonthas is our only hope right now.

    • Realist101 May 13, 2024

      Hope is good, but action is better. What’s truly needed is a grassroots movement that can push for real, tangible changes. Politicians can only do so much without the vocal support of their constituents.

  3. GreenThumb May 14, 2024

    Just another day in the life of planet Earth, where humans value profit over the environment and our own health. When will we learn that this isn’t sustainable?

    • SkepticalSam May 14, 2024

      It’s not as black and white. We rely on industries for jobs and economic growth. Yes, they should operate more safely and cleanly, but shutting them down isn’t the answer either.

  4. BizGuy May 14, 2024

    Let’s not jump to demonize the entire industrial sector. Incidents like this, while tragic, offer opportunities for learning and improving safety standards and operational protocols.

    • RayongLocal May 14, 2024

      Easy for you to say from the comfort of safety. When it’s your backyard on fire, maybe you’ll understand why we’re not so forgiving or optimistic.

  5. FactChecker May 14, 2024

    It’s curious how we’re quick to blame the industries without waiting for the full investigation report. These events are complex; jumping to conclusions helps no one.

    • EcoWarrior22 May 14, 2024

      While we shouldn’t jump to conclusions, history has shown us that these aren’t isolated incidents. There’s a pattern of negligence that can’t be ignored.

  6. HistoryBuff May 14, 2024

    Reminds me of the historical industrial disasters that led to major safety regulations. Maybe this tragedy will finally push for the changes needed in Thailand’s industries.

    • Optimist May 14, 2024

      Exactly! It’s all about learning from the past to improve the future. Hopefully, this incident becomes a catalyst for positive change.

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