A powerful explosion ripped through a fireworks warehouse Saturday in southern Thailand, killing nine people and injuring more than 100, a senior official said, as several nearby homes were levelled or damaged. The blast in the town of Sungai Kolok in the border province of Narathiwat is thought to have been caused by welding during construction work on the building. “A warehouse storing firecrackers in Sungai Kolok exploded this afternoon, the latest number is nine dead and 115 injured,” Narathiwat governor Sanan Pongaksorn told AFP. “The fire is now under control. Preliminary investigation suggests the cause is a technical error during the steel welding process, as the building is under construction.” The explosion devastated a substantial area around the warehouse. Footage on local media showed a massive plume of smoke rising into the air and numerous shops, homes, and vehicles badly damaged by the force of the blast — some ablaze and many with their roofs blown off. Some media are putting the death toll at 10 but the figure could not be confirmed. AFP photos from the scene show the warehouse reduced to rubble and twisted metal.