22 dead Burmese migrants found off Thai coast

Dec 23, 2007 (AP), Marine police have retrieved the bodies of 22 Burmese migrant workers found floating off the west coast of Thailand, police said Sunday.

Acting on information from fishermen, a police search party found the corpses in the Andaman Sea near Ranong province Saturday.

"We do not know why or when the boat or boats sank, but we believe that they must have been overloaded and sank in that area about two days ago," said police Lt. Col. Yongyuth Preechachart in Ranong.

The bodies of the eight women, 10 men and four children were being kept at a Buddhist temple in Ranong, Yongyuth said, adding that a local doctor may conduct autopsies of the bodies there.

Ranong, some 290 miles south of the Thai capital Bangkok, is a major trading and commuting point on the Thai-Burma border.

Many people from impoverished Burma cross the border illegally to seek work in Thailand.

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