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Expat Engineer Dies in Gas Tragedy at Southern Power Station

Monday, June 10, 2013
PHUKET: A New Zealand engineer is one of two men killed by gas at a powerhouse in the southern Thai province of Trang yesterday. Two other men were overcome by gas but survived.

Initial reports say the men were inspecting a chimney at the Paveneer 2002 powerhouse yesterday when they were overcome.

A fifth man stayed conscious and was able to raise the alarm.

It is believed the men were inspecting a biomass powerhouse being installed at the plant.

According to Superintendent Sittinan Sankapan of the police station at Nakuan, in the Trang district of Yantakao, investigations are continuing.

The bodies of the men were taken to Songkhnagaing Hospital in Songkhla province.

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In Thailand and elsewhere there are procedures that need to and have to be followed in case workers/inspectors are entering enclosures where gas can be present. There are procedures to follow before entering, measurement of gas, oxygen, same during inspection and work and there are procedures that ensure that people can get pulled out fast in case something goes wrong. Assuming the fifth man was actually not in the enclosure then that part of the safety was ok and he could raise the alarm, but apparently there was no gas watch dog (instrument that gives alarm before gas levels reach a critical level) to sound alarm or it was defect or uncalibrated . Accidents like these can be very complex and it can be tricky to find the reason especially if the people that investigates it are not specialists. I hope that the local police station will get some external specialist help else it will be very hard for them to find the real reason for this tragic accident, the only thing we know is that it could only go wrong if procedures were not followed or equipment used as safe guard was faulty, in both cases the responsibility can only rest with the power house and it's owner. Hope that it will possible to follow this case to the end so that lessons can be learned.

Posted by Sailor on June 10, 2013 16:57

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Having worked as an engineer for over 40 years I was always amused by the posted signs warning of the requirement to use breathing appartus in obviously dangerous environs. I wondered who they were posted for, now I know.

Posted by MadMike on June 10, 2013 19:11

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confined space entry is something an expat engineer should have been trained in for offshore purposes I have to do every 3 years

Posted by Michael on June 11, 2013 00:06


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