An investigation is under way after three people were killed and more than 50 injured when one of PTT’s gas pipelines exploded and caught fire on Thursday afternoon at Samut Prakan, south-east of Thailand’s capital Bangkok.

People living nearby fled their homes and students moved to escape an adjacent school when the fireball erupted. Other residents in the vicinity were evacuated by the police.

Four or five houses were extensively damaged by the fire and other properties had their roofs damaged.

Some 40 fire engines attended the incident and the blaze was brought under control by late afternoon.

PTT joins in rescue effort

PTT said the explosion occurred after natural gas leaked from a pipe and caught fire about 12.55pm local time.

“PTT joined local rescue teams to bring the injured to the hospital,” the Thai national player said.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEW ENERGY TRANSITION NEWSLETTER

Energy explored: Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here.

Two of the fatalities were women in their eighties, reported the Bangkok Post.

Residents told local media a construction vehicle had been filling in land nearby before the pipeline exploded.

“The company is sending a team of experts to investigate the cause and estimate the damage, while the company has an insurance with Dhipaya Insurance to cover the damage,” said Theera Phudphong, PTT’s corporate social responsibility officer told The Nation.

“Bang Bo and Bang Sao Thong district authorities will provide temporary lodging for those whose houses were damaged.”

PTT has promised full compensation for those affected by Thursday’s blast.