7 Myanmar migrants killed in Thailand | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 16, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 16, 2008

7 Myanmar migrants killed in Thailand

At least seven Myanmar migrant workers and a Thai man were killed in a road accident in Thailand on Monday as suspected traffickers tried to flee police in a border area, officials said.
Police tried to stop a pick-up truck to search for illegal migrants from Thailand's poorer western neighbour, but the driver sped up to avoid the checkpoint and slammed into an electricity pylon.
Seven women and a man from Myanmar were also seriously injured in the crash, which happened in the province of Kanchanaburi, about 128 kilometres (80 miles) west of Bangkok, near the border with Myanmar.
"Among the eight dead at the crash scene were seven Myanmar men and one Thai, who was the driver," said Police Lieutenant-Colonel Boonrat Ploenkootham.
"They are illegal workers and were heading to find work somewhere... The car veered off the road and hit an electricity pole," he added.
According to the labour ministry, about 540,000 migrants are registered to work in Thailand, most of them from Myanmar, but as many as one million undocumented workers are believed to be in the kingdom.
In April this year, 54 migrants from Myanmar suffocated to death in a cold-storage container while being smuggled to Thailand to escape desperate conditions at home.
Migrants flee low wages, high unemployment, poor education and harassment by the military in Myanmar, often only to face abuse, persecution and exploitation in Thailand, human rights workers say.

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