[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]

REUTER NEWS(15/1/96)

   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.
	  REUTER cdh/de