[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index
ASIA: BURMESE ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS BURNT IN TRUCK FIRE
BANGKOK, Jan 15 Reuter - Fifty-four illegal Burmese immigrants
were badly burnt when a truck smuggling them along a highway to
prospective employers south of Bangkok caught fire, police and
hospital officials said today.
There were no deaths reported, they added.
The 10-wheel truck, jammed with about 100 Burmese illegal
immigrants hiding under tarpaulin sheets, caught fire late yesteray
as it was travelling along a highway in the Kuraburi district of
Pangnga province, about 800km south of Bangkok, police said.
Police believed the Burmese had entered the country from Burma's
southern Victoria Point and were being taken by labour racketeers
to work in southern Thai provinces.
"Many people suffered bad burns because the fire broke out about
30 minutes before the driver (became) aware of the incident and
then stopped the truck," Sub-Lieutenant Somchai Boonklob of
Kuraburi police told Reuters.
Firefighters and ambulances were rushed to the scene and took
the injured to hospitals, he said.
An official of a hospital near Kuraburi said 54 people, 19 women
and 35 men, were brought in with 70 per cent burns.
"The patients are in a serious condition but so far nobody has
died," the official said.
Police said they were hunting for the driver of the truck and
other illegal Burmese immigrants who had fled the scene.
Those injured will be charged with entering Thailand illegally
once they recover, police added.
Thai immigration officials estimate that about 500,000 illegal
immigrants, mainly Burmese, are smuggled into the country by
racketeers to be offered as cheap labour to contractors.