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Tragic Explosion at Thailand Fireworks Factory Claims Lives of At Least 20 People

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An explosion occurred at a fireworks factory in central Thailand, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 20 lives, as reported by the government’s disaster relief agency. The incident also caused injuries, although the exact number was not provided. 

 Efforts are underway to secure the site in Suphan Buri province and assist those affected, as the explosion’s cause is being investigated. This province is situated approximately 60 miles northwest of Bangkok, at the heart of Thailand’s central rice-growing region. The Prime Minister, currently in Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, was informed via phone by the regional police commander that there were 20 to 30 workers present at the factory during the explosion, and none of them could be located. A rescue worker mentioned the difficulty in providing an exact count of the casualties due to the fragmented state of the bodies.  

 Social media images depicted a thick plume of black smoke rising over the blast site, with the factory area nearly flattened except for debris and body parts. Reports also indicated a previous explosion at the factory in November last year, resulting in the death of one worker and serious injuries to three others.  

This incident occurred shortly before the Chinese New Year in February, a time when demand for fireworks is high. In a similar event in July last year, a large explosion at a fireworks warehouse in southern Thailand claimed the lives of at least 10 people and injured over 100. The blast, which occurred in a residential area in Narathiwat province, caused extensive damage to around 100 houses within a 1,640-foot radius, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation. The governor of Narathiwat suggested that the blast was likely triggered by construction work in the warehouse, with sparks from metal welding igniting the stored fireworks, leading to the explosion. 

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