วันพฤหัสบดีที่ 22 เมษายน พ.ศ. 2553
No aviation fuel supply disruption after oil depot grenade attack
PATHUM THANI, April 21 (TNA) – Energy Minister Dr Wannarat Channukul on Wednesday assured the public that there have been no fuel disruptions after a grenade attack at a petroleum company's oil depot which supplies aviation fuel to Suvarnabhumi Airport.
The minister said the attack took place at 2.39 am. Initial police investigation and forensic experts determined that two M79 grenades were fired at a half-full oil container of Thai Petroleum Pipeline Company (Thappline)'s oil depot in Lam Luk Ka district of Pathum Thani province. One grenade hit the target setting the oil container afire, though it was extinguished in an hour. The other grenade failed to explode.
Dr Wannarat said, however, such incident did not affect the aviation fuel supply to Suvarnabhumi Airport, for there are a total of 19 oil containers operating through pipeline to the airport.
He added the attack took place despite the ministry setting up an operation centre to closely monitor possible sabotage and improve security measures at the highest level for oil depots, petroleum installations, oil refineries, power plants, electric wires and pipelines since before the ongoing protests of the anti-government United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) had taken place.
Mr Wannarat conceded that it was difficult to prevent such sabotage as the grenades were fired from a distance, but security has been stepped up after electric power transmission facilities at the Wang Noi power plant were targetted last week.
Attapol Rerkphiboon, PTT executive vice president for Corporate Communication and Social Responsibility, said PTT, as the country's largest oil and gas conglomerate, and as the biggest shareholder in Thappline, is now also closely monitoring the situation, with the latest report stating that the pipeline near the explosion can now resume its function for aviation fuel transport and there have been no problems of oil services to the public and aircraft.
Pol Lt-Gen Krisda Pankhongchuen, the Region 1 Provincial Police chief, later said police investigators examined the scene and reported the oil container had likely been hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) launched from the motorway, about 100m away.