Bangkok: Twenty Myanmar migrant workers died early Friday as fire tore through a bus taking them from a Thai border town to Bangkok, officials said.
The bus was carrying 47 workers who had just crossed the border into Thailand to work legally. Three other people on the bus were injured but the rest escaped unharmed, police said.
“The driver said he saw fire breaking out from the middle of the bus, which then spread quickly,” Kritkanok Dan-udom, the chief of Maetor district police station. Pictures in Thai media showed the burnt-out shell of the bus.
Thailand’s roads have been ranked as the deadliest in the world after Libya’s, according to the World Health Organization’s most recent study. 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. Thailand is estimated to have more than 3 million migrant workers, many of whom come from much poorer neighbor Myanmar. Work permit rules were tightened last year.