Four workers were killed in an explosion on a large transport ship that was being built at a private shipyard in Bang Sai district on Friday afternoon.

The blast occurred around 2pm at the shipyard of Chartchai Cholathanrungsawat Co, located beside the Noi River in tambon Sanam Chai.

Ayutthaya Ship Explosion Kills Four

Police, soldiers and local officials who rushed to the scene found the steel vessel, which was about 80% complete, heavily damaged. The vessel was 14 metres wide, 55 metres long and six metres high.

The explosion tore through the vessel from the middle to the stern. The section was forced open by the blast, which also damaged workers’ living quarters.

The four male workers killed were identified as Sawiang Vetsawat, Surin Suebsap, 40, Banchong Pitakkul 49, and a Cambodian identified only as Chu, said Pol Maj Gen Suthi Puangpikul, chief of Ayutthaya police.

Police are investigating the cause of the explosion.

Niwat Trisit, 31, a foreman, said that work was about 80% complete on the 17-million-baht vessel. Only spray-painting was under way when the accident occurred.

The four victims were painting in a cabin inside the ship. Mr Niwat said three pieces of electrical equipment were operating at the time: an airless sprayer, a grinder and a ventilation fan. One of thethree devices might have caused sparks that ignited paint or thinner, he said.