DMIS: Thailand | 37 Deaths from fire at refugee camp

Brief description of the situation

March 26, 2013 – The blaze killed 37 refugees, 21 of them men and 16 women, and injured more than 100 others as fire raged at the camp last Friday. (March 22) About 3,500 ethnic Karen people live in the camp. Initial reports suggested some 400 families, 2,300 refugees lost their homes and possessions in the disaster. They are staying in tents about 500 metres from the refugee camp.

Third Region Army personnel have been instructed to extend help, but he confirmed that the Interior Ministry is the core agency in charge of relief for the ethnic Karen refugees. The situation on the Myanmar border has improved, but the refugees cannot be sent back against their will.

Three relief centres have been set up in Mae Hong Son town hall, the Khun Yuam district office and Chiang Mai town hall to receive donations for the refugees.

Ban Mae Surin camp was set up in 1992 and is home to some 3,500 refugees who fled ethnic conflict in Myanmar.

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