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Bus inferno kills 20 Myanmar workers, injures 2

Twenty Myanmar workers died and three were injured when a chartered bus caught fire while on the way to Mae Sot district of Tak province before dawn on Friday (March 30).

The non air-conditioned bus was taking 48 workers, mostly women, from Myanmar to work in Navanakorn Industrial Estate in Pathum Thani province on highway 12 (Phitsanulok � Lomsak).

At about 1.40 am a fire occurred inside the bus and quickly spread to all over the vehicle, according to survivors.

Some 20 people, including the bus driver and his wife, managed to flee the burning bus, two of them were injured, while 20 Myanmar workers�18 women and 2 men�could not get out and were burnt alive inside the bus.

The cause of fire was not known but some witnesses said a migrant worker smoked in the bus and discarded of the cigar butt on the bus floor.

The lit cigarette butt might slipped into the luggage compartment of the bus and later caught fire.

The bus was burnt to wreck with charred remains of the victims.

Bus driver said he smelled smoke as he was driving the bus near Mae Tha in Mae Sot.

He then shouted if any passenger smoked but there was no answer.

Forensic police were at the scene to look into the actual cause.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (ThaiPBS)