Fireworks explosion kills six Burmese migrants

Fireworks explosion kills six Burmese migrants

Six Burmese workers were killed when fireworks stored in a house exploded on Thursday night in Thailand’s Suphanburi Province, northwest of the capital Bangkok.

The fatal blast occurred around 9pm near in the province’s U Thong District, local police said.

Police, soldiers and rescue workers who rushed to the scene found debris from the wrecked house and human body parts scattered over the area. They said the victims, four men and two women from Burma, had not been identified.

Officers also found many small, unexploded fireworks at the scene.

Pol Maj Gen Passornwin Pongpipattarapakhin, chief of Suphanburi police, said there had been previous explosions at covert fireworks factories like this in the province.

People who ran this type of business often hired migrant workers to assemble the fireworks, and frequently shifted location to avoid detection.

It was clear the house that exploded was being used as a fireworks factory, he said.

The land and premises were owned by a retired army officer and were rented out to someone who later used it as a factory for assembling fireworks, said Pol Maj Gen Passornwin.

Meanwhile, in neighbouring Kanchanburi Province, two Burmese workers were killed and eight others injured when their pickup truck plunged off a road early Friday morning.

Muang District police said the accident was reported about 5am.

Rescue teams sent to the scene found the white, four-door Toyota pickup registered in the province overturned in a bamboo grove beside a bypass in the district’s Tambon Pak Phraek.

From the damage, it appeared the truck hit a tree. One woman was found dead, pinned between the roof and the ground, and a man was dead in the back seat. There were eight other injured people inside the vehicle.

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Rescue workers took an hour to force open the doors and then rushed the injured, four men and four women, to Paholpolpayuhasena Hospital. Police said they were all workers from Burma.

The driver, Tawan Hongcharoen, 39, said he picked up the passengers in Muang Kanchanaburi District and was taking them to Samut Sakhon Province to find work. A motorcycle with a sidecar cut in front of him. He tried to avoid hitting it and his truck ran off the road.

The driver is a local resident in Muang Kanchanaburi District. All the passengers had Burmese ID cards, but no work papers.

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