Paula Levesque

Today in fire history: a major fire in a toy factory kills 188.

Blog Post created by Paula Levesque Employee on May 10, 2014

On May 10, 1993, a major fire occurred at the Kader Industrial (Thailand) Company, Ltd. factory in the Nakhom Pathom Province ThailandNakhon Pathom Province of Thailand.  This facility manufactured stuffed toys, soft-plastic dolls and hard-plastic dolls.  The fire cause was still under investigation.  To date, 188 factory workers have died in this fire, although this number may increase because of the large number of workers who received serious injuries.  In addition, the fire destroyed the complex's main structure and caused damage to a smaller secondary structure.

Initial information indicates that the fire may have started near an electrical control panel in an area that was used for the storage of packaging and finished products.  The security personnel and others unsuccessfully attempted to extinguish the fire.  Approximately 1/2 hour after the fire was discovered, someone in the facility notified the fire department.  Approximately nine minutes after notification fire fighters arrived and found a large portion of the building was heavily involved in fire.  In addition most of the 1,100 employees in that portion of the building were still attempting to exit through a single exit stairway.  

Arriving fire fighters immediately encountered multiple major commitment for their first alarm companies.  The fire fighters had to initiate suppression operations against a large and rapidly spreading fire.  They had to immediately assist thousands of people who were trapped or directly exposed to the growing fire, and they had to manage the care of a large number of injured survivors.

The most significant factor contributing to the large loss of life was inadequate exit provisions.  However, other factors contributing to the loss include delay in fire department notification, inadequate training, lack of evacuation planning, the lack of vertical and horizontal fire separations, and the absence of automatic suppression and detection systems.  

For more information on this fire go to NFPA's Fire Investigations.  

To see more NFPA's Key Dates in Fire History

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