Bangkok, March 30 (IANS) Twenty migrant workers from Myanmar were killed when their bus caught fire in northwestern Thailand on Friday, the police said.
The workers were travelling to a factory district near Bangkok when their chartered bus was engulfed in flames around 1.30 a.m. in Tak Province, the Bangkok Post reported.
The double-decker bus was carrying 47 Myanmar workers, out of which 27 managed to escape the inferno, said Col. Krissana Pattanacharoen, a Royal Thai Police spokesman.
The cause of the fire was not yet known, he said. Initial reports said that the engine of the bus caught fire which spread quickly through the vehicle.
Police said the fire was so intense that identifying the dead would require experts. One officer at the scene told the daily that he could not distinguish between male and female corpses.
The authorities were planning to interview the driver, who survived the fire.
“We are trying to identify the bodies and also trying to contact the Myanmar Consulate in order to identify the bodies,” Colonel Krissana said. “They are Buddhists, so we’ve got to send them back to their hometown for religious ceremonies there.”
The workers who were killed on Friday had passed the lengthy new registration process to work in the country, reports said.
Thailand has the world’s highest rate of road traffic deaths, according to World Health Organisation data from 2013. In 2015, it was found to have the second highest road fatality rate behind Libya.