High temperatures setting off fires underground

High temperatures setting off fires underground

26 April 2012

published by www.nationmultimedia.com

Thailand — Last Saturday, resident Chatree Boonyarit also suffered from burns as he tried to rescue a dog in the area.

“Before that, another man was injured at the same spot. He said the road surface had collapsed a bit and there was a fire raging down under,” village chief Natcha Saengsiri said. The spot has been cordoned off.

“We have used water to control the blaze, which is starting to rise to the surface,” Phitsanulok disasterpreventionandmitigation chief Issaraporn Suchano said.

Somboon Kositanon, a senior mineralresources official, said initial examination suggested that methane from accumulated sawdust, weeds and dry leaves as well as heat might have caused the fire.

“It’s similar to fires in the peat swamp forest in the South,” he said.

In Uttaradit, a part of a road split under the summer heat with local residents saying they thought an explosion or an earthquake had taken place. The crack is 15 centimetres deep.

“It is possible that reinforced steel under the road caused this explosion,” an official at the local weather bureau said. “The temperature has been well over 40 degrees Celsius for several days now.”

The unbearable heat was also believed to have caused two deaths yesterday.

The first death was in Samut Prakan, while the second was in Ubon Ratchathani.

In Samut Prakan, 52yearold construction worker Boonplook Harnboon had seizure and died soon after she drank some liquor early yesterday. Her death was reported to the police at about 1.30am, and investigators believe that a combination of alcohol and heat had brought on a deadly heart attack.

According to her husband, Boonplook had a drink, took a shower and then drank some more before suddenly dying. The body will be sent for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of her death.

Dr Aree Tanbanyong, provincial public health chief in Phayao, said human bodies absorbed alcohol faster in hot weather, which means drinkers get drunk faster and some might even lose consciousness.

She said the common illnesses caused by the summer heat were diarrhoea, food poisoning, headache and heat stroke.

In Ubon Ratchathani, a blind man was found dead at a centre for people with disabilities not long after he complained about the sweltering heat. Police said no wounds had been found on the body of 64yearold Butrdee Sansee, who is believed to have fainted from a heat stroke and died from knocking his head on the floor as he fell.

Relevant officials yesterday rushed to examine a spot in Phitsanulok’s Nakhon Thai district where fire has reportedly been raging underground. The fire has also reportedly burned four dogs to death.

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