Fire at Rohingya refugee camp in Thailand: 42 die

Fire at Rohingya refugee camp in Thailand: 42 die

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DHAKA: The toll from a blaze that swept through a camp in northern Thailand has risen to 42, a Thai official said Saturday, after hundreds of temporary homes for refugees from Myanmar were reduced to ashes.Dozens of people were injured in the fire, which broke out on Friday at the Mae Surin camp in Mae Hong Son province, with women, children and the elderly believed to make up the majority of the victims.
Rescue workers were on the scene at the remote mountainous camp area, Mae Hong Son provincial governor Narumol Paravat told media, reports Hindustan Times.
‘The latest death toll we can confirm through military walkie-talkies is 42,’ she said, adding the toll was likely to rise further as rescue workers search the area.
Authorities believe the fire was sparked by an unattended cooking flame.
A local district official said hot weather, combined with strong winds caused the fire to spread quickly among the thatched bamboo shelters.
Police on Saturday said around 400 temporary homes had been incinerated, while the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Bureau said a school, clinic and two food warehouses had also been destroyed.
The Thai government pledged an investigation into the fire at the camp, which houses roughly 3,700 refugees.
Ten camps strung out along the Thai-Myanmar border house a total of about 130,000 people, who first began arriving in the 1980s.
Many of the refugees have fled conflict zones in ethnic areas of Myanmar, also known as Burma.
Families often live cheek-by-jowl in simple bamboo-and-thatch dwellings.
Many of the camp residents have been registered with the UN as refugees, and an ongoing resettlement programme has allowed tens of thousands to move to third countries.
(Source: banglanews24.com)

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