BANGKOK, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The death toll of an oil tanker explosion in central Thailand's Samut Songkhram province rose to eight as more bodies of victims were recovered from the wreckage, local authorities said Wednesday.
One Thai national and seven Myanmar nationals were killed in the incident, Samut Songkhram governor Somnuk Phromkeaw told reporters after the end of the rescue.
The explosion occurred Tuesday 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.
Four injured were sent to a local hospital Tuesday, and one was later discharged, Somun said.
At least 97 households in two sub-districts were affected by the blast, he said, adding that those impacted areas were declared a public emergency.
In a statement issued by the marine department Tuesday, the authorities suspected that the tanker, with a capacity of 2,998 deadweight tonnes, was not thoroughly cleaned and emptied of fuel before entering the shipyard, leading to the explosion.
The tanker still had 30,000 liters of fuel oil onboard at the time of the explosion, according to the marine department of the Transport Ministry.
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. ■