Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Thailand aviation oil tank hit by RPG

The aviation fuel tank set on fire in the Thapline depot in Pathum Thani on Wednesday morning was probably hit by an RPG round, not an M79 grenade, police said.

The attack occurred about 1.15am.

Energy Minister Wannarat Charnnukul said earlier today, citing a preliminary police report, said a tank containing aviation fuel, in the oil depot operated by Thai Petroleum Pipeline Co in Lam Luk Ka district, was set ablaze by one of two M79 grenades that were fired into the Thapline grounds. One failed to explode.

The depot provides fuel through a pipeline to Suvarnabhumi airport..

But Pol Lt-Gen Krisda Pankhongchuen, the Region 1 Provincial Police chief, said Pol Maj-Gen Methi Kusolsang, the Pathum Thani police chief, and Pol Col Preeda Pongsethsan, deputy forensic police chief of Pathum Thani, had since examined the scene and reported the tank had likely been hit by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG).

They had recovered an RPG fragment near an oil tank.

He said the RPG round made a hole about one and a half inches in diameter, penetrating the thick steel tank and setting the contents on fire.

The fire had been extinguished in about an hour and the hole had been plugged.

The investigators suspected the RPG had been launched from the motorway, about 100m away.

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