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Owners of Narathiwat fireworks warehouse surrender

PHOTO: Thai PBS

The owners of a fireworks warehouse that exploded last week, killing 12 people, have surrendered to police. According to a report by the National News Bureau of Thailand, they have been identified as 42 year old Sompong Na Kul and his wife, Piyanut Puengworawat.

A massive explosion and fire at the warehouse, in the southern province of Narathiwat, on Saturday, July 29, killed 12 people and injured 121 others. Up to 300 houses and other nearby properties were damaged or totally destroyed in the blast in the Muno sub-district of Sungai Kolok district, located next to the Thai-Malaysian border.

According to the report, the owners had previously obtained permission to construct and operate a warehouse. However, Suchart Kijakarn, assistant district chief for Sungai Kolok, says at no point in the application process did the couple disclose what would be stored at the facility.

It’s understood the building, previously known as Weerawat Panit initially operated as a shop that sold farm equipment and kitchenware. Shortly after it was converted into a warehouse, police say the couple began storing large quantities of fireworks there.

According to Nanthadet Yoinual, Provincial Police Region 9 commissioner, deep holes found at the facility after the explosion indicate that over 1,000 kilos of fireworks were being illegally stored there.

Yesterday, August 1, the couple contacted police to formally surrender after Nanthadet issued a statement in which he said if they failed to do so, warrants would be issued for their arrest.

SOURCE: National News Bureau of Thailand

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