RANONG: Fifty-four Burmese, 17 men and 37 women, suffocated to death while being transported in the sealed container of a seafood delivery truck yesterday en route from Ranong to Phuket.
Col Kraithong Chanthongbai of Suksamran District Police today told the Gazette that police received a call from local people saying that a 10-wheeled truck had been left by the side of Petchkasem Rd in Village 3, Tambon Naka, Suksamran District, Ranong.
“Inside the container were 121 Burmese. We found 54 bodies: 17 men and 37 women. The other 67 were still alive,” Col Kraithong said.
Although the container on the truck has a refrigeration unit to preserve seafood, it was not switched on, he said.
“Now 10 of them are still in Suksamran Hospital. The rest are being held in police custody as illegal immigrants. We will present this case to the court tomorrow,” he added.
The survivors told police they were on their way to Phuket, he said.
“Those who died were dead for about an hour before we arrived,” he said.
“They said they banged on the walls of the container, screaming for the driver to stop. When he did and opened the door to the container, he ran away,” Col Kraithong said.
Col Kraithong confirmed that the truck, with Ranong commercial registration plates 70-0619, belongs to Rungruengsup Limited Partnership.
“We are waiting to arrest the driver,” he said.
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