BANGKOK, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- An oil tanker explosion in central Thailand's Samut Songkhram province killed at least three people on Tuesday, the marine department of the Transport Ministry said.
The explosion occurred at around 9:15 a.m. local time when the tanker docked at a shipyard on the Mae Klong River in Muang district exploded and caused a fire.
The identities of the deceased were not be confirmed, but the fire had been fully contained and rescuers were stepping up their search for injured and missing, Transport Ministry Deputy Permanent Secretary Sorapong Paitoonpong told a press conference.
At least 10 others were injured in the incident, according to a written statement released by the marine department.
The tanker, with a capacity of 2,998 deadweight tonnes, was carrying 30,000 liters of fuel oil onboard at the time of the explosion, Sorapong said.
The authorities suspected that the tanker was not thoroughly cleaned and emptied of fuel before entering the shipyard, leading to the explosion. An investigation into the cause of the incident is underway, and preliminary findings will be announced within 10 days.
The shipyard has been ordered a temporary closure. ■