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62 Myanmar refugees perish in fire at Thailand camp

This March 23, 2013, photo presents an aerial view of the Ban Mae Surin refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province, northern Thailand, which was burnt down in a fire that was sparked on Friday by a cooking accident. At least 62 Myanmar refugees died in the fire.   | Photo Credit: Wichai Taprieu

At least 62 Myanmar refugees have been killed and more than 200 injured when a fire swept through their camp in northern Thailand. Officials fear that the toll could rise further.

Earlier, 30 refugees were reported killed when a fire broke out on Friday evening at the Mae Surin refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province.

Paisarn Thanyawinitchakul, Chief of the Mae Hong Son Public Health Office, said 32 more bodies were found in the burnt camp and the death toll could rise further. Most of the victims died of suffocation.

More than 3,000 refugees, mostly from Myanmar’s Karen minority, live at the camp.

Over 100,000 refugees, mostly ethnic Karen who have fled fighting between Karen rebels and the Government, live in camps near the Myanmar border with Thailand.

The blaze, which was apparently sparked by an unattended cooking flame that razed hundreds of huts — mainly made of bamboo —was brought under control on Saturday morning.

Most of the dead were women, elderly persons and children, media reports in Bangkok said quoting a senior national intelligence official.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2020 12:22:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/world/62-myanmar-refugees-perish-in-fire-at-thailand-camp/article4541705.ece

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