Victims of Narathiwat Fireworks Disaster File 300m Baht Lawsuit

A group of 682 people has filed a lawsuit against two fireworks traders and a construction contractor, demanding a total of 300 million baht in damages due to the massive and deadly warehouse explosion that occurred in Sungai Kolok district, Narathiwat Province in July.

The lawsuit was filed at the Narathiwat Provincial Court on Tuesday by sixty-eight lawyers representing the 682 plaintiffs.

This lawsuit stems from a warehouse explosion in tambon Muno on July 29, which stored fireworks, killing 11 people, injuring 389, and damaging 649 houses and three schools.

Sompong Nakul, 42, and his wife Piyanuch Puengwirawat, 42, owners of the warehouse, appeared in court along with Pathomporn Phromsakul, the contractor who was responsible for erecting the warehouse shelves.

To avoid confrontations, the defendants were kept in a separate room from the plaintiffs attending with their lawyers.

The couple and the contractor face criminal charges including recklessness causing death, substandard construction, illegal trading and importing of fireworks, and unauthorized building alterations.

The pair proposed one million baht in assets as collateral for bail, but the court declined their application.

Mr. Sompong’s lawyer, Lertsak Chotepanit, stated the couple intends to pay compensation and has deposited 1.1 million baht with the court for the families of the blast victims.

Plaintiffs’ lawyer Olarn Kulwichit announced a meeting for initial compensation discussions set for February 5 next year.

The explosion, which occurred around 3 pm on July 29, is believed to have been triggered by welding at the Weerawat Panit warehouse in the Muno market, a key cross-border trade hub in the Sungai Kolok district bordering Malaysia.

The blast completely destroyed the warehouse, along with numerous market stalls and hundreds of homes.