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Pickup truck crash injures 19 Rohingya

(Photo: Phuketwan)

December 21, 2014

PHATTHALUNG, Thailand — Nineteen Rohingya migrants were injured, 11 of them seriously, after a pickup truck veered off a slippery road in Khao Chaison district on Sunday morning. 

The group, reportedly including a few children, were going from Ranong to the Padang Besar border checkpoint in Songkhla province when the accident took place on a local road in Moo 1 village in tambon Koke Muang at 8am. It was raining at the time. 

Police said the unidentified Thai driver failed to negotiate a curve in the wet conditions. He lost control of the vehicle, causing it to crash into a roadside ditch and overturn. 

The driver fled the scene, leaving the injured Rohingya behind and unattended. They were later taken to Tamod and Khao Chai hospitals. 

Speaking through an interpreter, a Rohingya migrant told police the group had left Myanmar by boat for Thailand. They stayed overnight in a forest behind a military camp in Ranong province before setting out on their journey to the Padang Besar checkpointearly Sunday. They were supposed to travel to Malaysia from there. The Rohingya migrant said each of them paid a Thai middle man 60,000 baht. 

Chaison district police chief Pol Col Pon Wanna said police are now investigating the Myanmar minority Rohingya and trying to track down the driver who is believed to be a member of a human trafficking gang.

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