A fire on a double-decker bus carrying migrant workers killed 20 people early Friday a week after another high death toll showed the continuing dangers of Thailand’s roads.
The fire was reported to police around 1:30 a.m. in Tak province in western Thailand along the border with Myanmar. The bus was heading to a factory in an industrial zone near Bangkok. Local media said the workers were from Myanmar.
Police Lt. Raewat Aiemtak said 27 people managed to escape the fire, with one of them severely burned.
The cause of the fire wasn’t immediately known, but Raewat said the driver reported the fire started in the middle of the bus and spread quickly. People in the front managed to escape but those in the back of the vehicle were trapped.
On March 21, a chartered tour bus lost control on a downhill curve in Thailand’s northeast and slid off the road, killing 18 people and injuring 33. A day later, a bus on a school trip in the central province of Ayutthaya skidded in the rain and flipped, injuring 39 people.
Thailand has the second-highest rate of traffic fatalities in the world after Libya, according to World Health Organization statistics.