A major global supplier of acrylic sheets caught fire in the early hours of this morning and firefighters were still trying to contain the blaze by midday.
According to reports, at around 7:38 a.m., the Sumipex Techsheet factory in Nanzi Science and Technology Industrial Park caught fire due to a suspected boiler explosion. The Kaohsiung City Fire Department dispatched 55 vehicles and 130 personnel to fight the fire.
Thick smoke can be seen several kilometers away, and the Kaohsiung City Environmental Protection Bureau urged residents in many areas downwind of the fire to stay indoors and close doors and windows. Affected areas include Nanzi, Zuoying, Gushan, Qianjin, Sanmin, Qijin, and Qianzhen.
According to reports, a factory manager named Li said that a storage tank containing methyl methacrylate was suspected to have exploded due to overheating. Factory employees were evacuated immediately, and no one was trapped or injured.
Pictures and videos showed the flames raging, flames raging and smoke billowing. Residents in the surrounding area reported a strong, acrid smell of burning plastic. Hearing several explosions, firefighters deployed the robot to approach the burning building.
The fire department ordered the gas supply to the surrounding area to be cut off and concentrated efforts to prevent the fire from spreading to adjacent factories and to allow the raw materials in the storage tanks to burn out.
Specialized chemical fire engines and military and police vehicles were also seen at the scene.
For safety reasons, more than 100 people from surrounding factories were evacuated.
Sumipex Technology is a subsidiary of Japan’s Sumimoto Chemical Group. The company uses pure MMA (methyl methacrylate monomer) to make its acrylic sheets.
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