Small Factory Explosion Injures Three in Rangoon

By Lawi Weng 21 August 2015

RANGOON — Three people were wounded in a small explosion at an oxygen storage unit inside a factory owned by the Myanmar Economic Corporation in Rangoon’s BotahtaungTownship onFriday, according to the Free Funeral Service Society (FFSS).

“We sent them to the hospital already,”an officer from FFSS said of the wounded.

The severity of their injuries was not known at midday on Friday, with the officer saying only that the three people were admitted to a Rangoon hospital emergency room. Despite the injuries, the officer told The Irrawaddy that the accident was “just a small explosion” and that damage to the facility was minimal.

Had the blast occurred in closer proximity to a nearbychemical storage facility, “this whole area could have gone up in flames,”said a security guard employed by the MEC, pointing to a neighborhood that includes buildings belonging to Burma’s Ministry of Energy and the Burma Navy.

MEC is military-owned, as is theconglomerate Union of Myanmar Economic Holdings Ltd. (UMEHL). A group of Burma Army officers was on scene Friday following the accident, but local authorities did not let journalists inside the MEC building.

About adozen firetrucks were dispatched to the scene and the flameswere brought under control within 20 minutes.