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Bus fire kills 20 Myanmar migrants in Thailand

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This photo by Dailynews taken in the early hours of March 30, 2018 shows firefighters extinguishing a bus fire, in which at least 20 Myanmar migrant workers died, in the Thai western border province of Tak.<br />Twenty Myanmar migrant workers died early on March 30 as fire tore through a bus taking them from a Thai border town to Bangkok, officials said. / AFP PHOTO / DAILYNEWS / Thailand OUT / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – MANDATORY CREDIT “AFP/DAILYNEWS”

Twenty Myanmar migrant workers died early Friday as fire tore through a bus taking them from a Thai border town to Bangkok, officials said.

It was not immediately clear how the blaze started on the bus — one of four travelling together to the Thai capital.

But television footage showed a bus destroyed by fire which trapped many passengers inside.

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“The death toll is now 20, with three people injured,” Pollawat Sapsongsuk of the Tak Disaster Prevention and Mitigation centre told AFP.

Kittisak Boonchan, a rescue worker in Tak province, told reporters there were 47 people on the bus.

The accident took place at 1:25 am in the northwestern province of Tak which borders Myanmar, a source of much of Thailand’s huge migrant labour force.

Low status and poorly paid, migrant workers often fall victim to safety lapses and exploitation in Thailand.

The kingdom has a poor road safety record on crashes with around 24,000 people perishing on its roads each year, according to the World Health Organization.

Last week 18 people died when a bus veered of the road and smashed into a tree in the northeast of the country.

The driver of that bus later confessed to being on drugs at the time of the crash.


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