RAYONG, Thailand (May 7, 2012)—A huge fire at the BST Elastomers Co. Ltd. facility in Map Ta Phut, Thailand on Saturday has killed at least 11 and injured 141.
The fire started in a toluene tank at around 3:20 p.m. local time on May 5 during an electrical storm. The facility was shut down for maintenance during a grade-switch.
Dr. Pinit Asvasaengrat, chief of Health Promotion and Occupational Medicine Center of Bangkok Rayong Hospital, said there were 11 fatalities and 141 injuries. He confirmed the level of toluene released from this incident is not harmful and not carcinogenic, but can cause irritation and rash.
BST Elastomers produces synthetic rubbers for tires, auto parts, shoe soles, sporting goods and other rubber products. The company has two facilities at the Map Ta Phut industrial park. One is a 75,000 metric ton a year emulsion-SBR unit and the other a BR plant with 52,000 tons of annual capacity.