A fire broke out in the Vietnam Singapore Industrial Park 1 in the southern province of Binh Duong on Thursday and ravaged a plant run by a Japanese-invested printing ink manufacturer for almost nine hours.
By the time firefighters managed to put out the blaze at 1:30 am Friday, it already engulfed the Sakata plant.
Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper (tuoitre.vn) quoted Robert Ng, a Sakata representative, as saying that the blaze may have been caused by chemicals-containing barrels stored at the materials warehouse of the plant.
Those barrels were put in places facing the sunlight while they should have been stored at low-temperature locations. High temperatures may have caused the barrels to burst into flames, Ng told Tuoi Tre.
News website VnExpress (vnexpress.net) quoted workers at the scene as saying that they heard several blasts from the materials warehouse at around 4 pm Thursday. The fire spread so fast that the workers had no choice but to flee the scene, they said.
Fortunately, firefighters were able to contain the blaze before it spread to the fuel depot which is also located inside the plant complex and to adjacent plants run by other companies in the park.
Binh Duong authorities, including two provincial vice mayors, and Japanese investors arrived at the scene on Thursday night to direct firefighting work.
No human casualties have been reported as of press time.
Tran Van Nam, Binh Duong’s vice mayor, was quoted by Tuoi Tre as saying that there were up to 400 workers at the scene when the fire broke out.
The company representatives said they have not been able to calculate the specific material damages yet but expected them to be “extremely serious” given that hundreds of tons of chemicals and a large amount of finished printing ink were all consumed.
Further investigations to ascertain the exact cause of fire are underway.
Sakata Inx Vietnam Co., Ltd says on its website that it is a 100 percent subsidiary of Sakata Inx Corporation, which has 80 major branches in the US, the UK, several European countries, China and Southeast Asian countries.
Printing ink is the core business of the company. VnExpress said the company has invested around US$14.5 million in its plant in Vietnam, which covers an area of thousands of square meters.
The Vietnam-Singapore Industrial Park 1, set up in 1996, says it hosts 240 companies and around 79,000 workers. Their tenants come from 22 different countries.