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Three Burmese job seekers were found dead among 26 migrants abandoned in central Thailand after the truck carrying them crashed on Saturday.
Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene in Kamphaeng Phet after being alerted by local residents.
Upon arrival, they found a group of migrant job seekers from Myanmar. Among them, 3 job seekers were found dead, 23 abandoned after a truck accident, three dead and four injured. None of the migrant job seekers had entry documents, the Bangkok Post reported.
One of the Burmese migrants told police they paid up to 20,000 baht each to employment agencies who arranged a van to transport them from the Myanmar-Thailand border to central Thailand.
As it descended a hill, the pickup lost control on a bend and overturned on Friday night. None of the job seekers knew where to say where the accident happened.
Soon after, another pickup truck with more job seekers arrived at the scene. The driver pulled over and told job seekers to come out, saying he was going to get help and call an ambulance.
However, the ambulance never arrived. Local villagers passing through the area saw the group and alerted the police.
The bodies of the three crash victims were sent for autopsies and the injured were taken to a local hospital. The other migrant workers were taken away for Covid-19 testing.
Illegal job seeker flooding borders
Border officials report that illegal migrants have entered Thailand from Myanmar in increasing numbers in recent weeks. Mainly, because economic conditions have deteriorated in Myanmar. The influx of illegal migrants is also due to Thai businesses reopening after months of Covid restrictions.
Many businesses are struggling to attract local workers, as many had returned to their home communities during the lockdown.
Job seekers crossing the border are now at increased risk of apprehension because the Thai government has tightened border security. Thai authorities are trying to stop the spread of Covid-19 from skipping the border.
On Saturday, 62 other illegal migrants from Myanmar were arrested in two separate operations in border areas.