A large explosion at a fireworks warehouse in Thailand kills at least 9 people and wounds scores

BANGKOK (AP): A large explosion at a fireworks warehouse in southern Thailand on Saturday killed at least nine people and wounded scores, officials said.

The governor of the province of Narathiwas, Sanan Pongaksorn, told public broadcaster Thai PBS that also at least 115 people were hurt, and that many were in serious condition. He said about 500 to 800 people who live nearby may have to be moved to a temporary shelter. He did not elaborate.

Videos posted on social media from the site show a huge plume of smoke over the area and many damaged structures, cars and motorbikes, as well as streets covered with debris. Many of the houses and other buildings have collapsed roofs and walls.

About 100 residences in the area were also damaged, according to the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.

Sanan, the local governor, said the blast was likely ignited by construction work that was taking place in the warehouse, with flares from metal welding causing the fireworks stored inside to catch fire and explode.