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16 Burmese Migrant Workers Killed in a Tragic Highway Accident in Thailand

Published on on 7th April.

Last week a tragic accident took the lives of 16 Burmese migrant workers and injured another 50 workers when the two-row seater bus they were riding was hit by a 10-wheeler truck in a major highway leading into Bangkok in Samu Sakorn Province in Central Thailand.  The workers were on their way to work at a food processing factory in Mahachai. Although the bus was designed to only carry 24 passengers, it exceeded the maximum numbers, which is the norm in Thailand.  Due to the lack of buses provided by factories, migrant workers are forced to over-crowd in dilapidated and unsafe forms of transportation.

BWI’s partner in Thailand, the Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) in conjunction with a number of other organizations such as the Thai Labour Solidarity committee, Thai Labour Campaign, and the Work and Environment Related Patient’s Network of Thailand Work have called on the Government of Thailand to conduct a fact-finding investigations on the causes of the accident and provide compensation for the families of workers killed and medical assistance to those injured.   More importantly, the groups are calling on the government to strictly ensure enforcement of bus safety laws in Thailand, specifically relating to numbers of passengers permitted for each vehicle and to ensure that picking up and dropping off of workers and members of the public is conducted in a way to ensure public safety and to prevent repetition of the 4th April 2011 tragedy.  They have also called on the Burmese Embassy in Thailand provide consular assistance to its citizens and their families who were injured or killed in this tragedy.

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