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54 Myanmar migrants suffocate

April 10, 2008|From Times Wire Reports

Fifty-four migrant workers from Myanmar suffocated in the back of a seafood truck in southern Thailand while being smuggled to the resort island of Phuket, police said today.

An additional 47 workers survived the incident late Wednesday in Ranong province and flagged down police for help, police Col. Kraithong Chanthongbai said. Twenty-one were hospitalized and the rest were detained for questioning, he said.

Of the dead, 37 were women and 17 were men. Police did not know what jobs they were heading for.

Police were searching for the truck's driver and members of the smuggling gang they believed arranged the trip. Kraithong blamed the driver for failing to turn on the air conditioning in the back of the truck.

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