A Large Explosion at a Fireworks Warehouse in Thailand Kills at Least 10 People and Wounds Scores

AP Photo/Kriya Tehtani
A fireman sprays water after an explosion occured at a firework warehouse in Narathiwat province southern Thailand, Saturday, July 29, 2023.

BANGKOK (AP) — A large explosion at a fireworks warehouse in southern Thailand on Saturday killed at least ten people and wounded scores, officials said.

The Narathiwat province’s Public Relations Department also said that also at least 118 people were hurt, and that residents of more than 200 households were affected. It said that officials believe there are still a number of people trapped under the debris waiting to be rescued.

Videos posted on social media from the site show a huge plume of smoke over the area and many damaged structures, cars and motorbikes, as well as streets covered with debris. Many of the houses and other buildings have collapsed roofs and walls.

The local public relations agency reported that the explosion cased damages in a radius of about 500 meters (1,640 feet). About 100 residences in the area were damaged, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Sanan Pongaksorn, the provincial governor, told public broadcaster Thai PBS that the blast was likely ignited by construction work that was taking place in the warehouse, with sparks from metal welding causing the fireworks stored inside to catch fire and explode.