Two Women Missing Following Explosion in Doi Tao

 | Thu 6 Nov 2014 21:31 ICT

CityNews – Two women are believed to have died in an explosion at a shophouse in Chiang Mai’s Doi Tao sub-district that injured seven others yesterday evening.
Photo: Chiang Mai Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office.

Investigators found traces of potassium chlorate, a chemical used in Thailand to induce off-season flowering in longan trees, at the scene.

Potassium chlorate is an explosive substance also used to make matches, and is used by some insurgent groups to make bombs.

The explosion occurred at around 5pm and badly damaged two houses in the same compound, as well as three trucks and a motorcycle. Nearby homes were also damaged, and body parts were scattered around the area.

The two houses belonged to Payom Nantasarn, 45, and her sister-in-law Saijai Majai, 42. They are both missing presumed dead.

Tests will be carried out on human remains found at the scene to determine if they come from the two women, who sold agricultural equipment from their homes.

Seven people were slightly injured in the explosion – one male and six females, including a child aged one year and nine months.

Investigators believe the women were grinding the potassium chlorate to add to their longan trees when the explosion occurred.

Soldiers and rescue teams attended the scene following the blast. The commander of the 33rd Military Circle and officials from the explosive ordnance disposal unit inspected the area this morning. Doi Tao district office is helping the victims.

In 1999, an explosion at a longan factory in Chiang Mai’s Sanpatong district killed 45 people and left 102 injured and 571 houses damaged. The explosion was also blamed on the use of potassium chlorate.