The government is chartering a plane at Cairo airport to fly the stranded Thais to Amman, where they will be picked up by a Thai Airways International plane for a flight home
Passengers gather at Cairo International Airport waiting to check in for their flights yesterday as they try to leave Egypt following days of the most violent anti-government protests in three decades in a bid to topple President Hosni Mubrak's creaking regime. AFP
Help is on way for trapped Thais
Charter to fly nationals out of stricken Cairo
All Thai nationals caught at Cairo International Airport by the political turmoil raging in Egypt will be flown home in an emergency evacuation.
The government has agreed to charter a Royal Jordanian Airlines plane at Cairo airport to fly the stranded Thais to Amman, where they will be picked up by a Thai Airways International plane for a flight home, Thai ambassador to Egypt Chalit Manityakul said yesterday.
A THAI plane is scheduled to leave from Bangkok at 8am today and is due to arrive in Amman at 1pm local time.
THAI president Piyasvasti Amranand said the Foreign Affairs Ministry initially asked the national airline to put on a flight to Cairo to pick up between 80 and 100 Thais, but the airline could not meet the request because a curfew has been imposed in Cairo.
Eight-seven Thai nationals were stranded at Cairo airport after violence erupted at the weekend in the Egyptian capital and other cities around the country between anti-government protesters and government forces.
Seventeen of the Thais were able to catch an Egypt Air flight to Europe but the rest decided to travel on the charter service to Amman to catch the special THAI flight home.
Of the 70 Thai passengers, 17 of them are workers in transit to Libya.
The group agreed to go to Amman because they had given up hope of flying on to Libya from Cairo.
''We don't know when the violence will end,'' Mr Chalit said.
''They cannot leave the airport because they have no visas to enter Egypt and there is no food to eat there.''
Jatuporn Chuengmeesuk, one of the Thais stranded in Cairo airport, told the Bangkok Post by phone yesterday that he and three friends had been stuck at the airport for two days.
He and his friends were members of a Thai team that won five prizes at the International Ice and Snow Sculpture Competition in France last week. The group were in transit at the airport waiting for an Egypt Air flight to Bangkok when the country descended into chaos.
''This is the best news [about the charter flight] because everyone would like to go home,'' he said.
He said he had not experienced much trouble in getting food, as EgyptAir had provided meals every 12 hours for its passengers waiting in transit. There was not enough food for all the thousands of passengers but they had to make do, he said.
He said the Thai embassy in Cairo had also helped supply food to Thais stranded at the airport. But his group shared it with a group of Thai labourers who had no money or supplies.
''There are at least 50 Thais trapped at the transit gate and the airlines have provided them with food. But those who have not yet checked in will not get food from the airlines and no restaurant or shops are open,'' he said.
Cairo airport is under the protection of the police and security officers to prevent possible attacks, he said.
Aticha Tanta-opas, a member of a group of Thai doctors who attended a seminar in the Egyptian capital and is now trapped in the check-in zone, said on the phone she had been stuck at the airport with 18 other Thais since Saturday and had only one meal provided by the Thai embassy in Cairo.
''If the Thai government does not send a airplane to pick us up, we have no way of going back to Thailand because there is no chance of getting a flight,'' Dr Aticha said.
There are about 2,600 Thai students in Egypt as well as 300 Thai workers in the service and restaurant industries. All are safe and have not been seriously affected by the protests.
violent – involving the use of physical force, with the intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people รุนแรง
protest – a meeting or rally, sometimes forceful or violent, of people who strongly disagree with something ชุมนุมประท้วง
decade – a period of ten years ทศวรรษ
bid – an attempt to do something ความพยายาม
topple – to make someone in power to lose their power โค่นอำนาจ
creaking – no longer working well ชำรุดทรุดโทรม
regime – a government that controls a country, especially in a strict or unfair way รัฐบาลที่ขึ้นมาปกครองโดยการยึดอำนาจ
trapped – to be in a dangerous or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape ถูกกับดัก
charter – a boat, plane, or bus that is available for hire, especially for use by a group of people; to hire a boat, plane or bus เครื่องบินเหมาลำ, การเช่าเหมาเรือ, เช่าเหมา
stricken – affected by serious problems ได้รับผลกระทบจากปัญหาหนักหน่วง
turmoil – a state of uncontrolled activity การจราจล ความไม่สงบ
raging – happening with a lot of force or violence รุนแรงมาก
emergency – an unexpected situation involving danger in which immediate action is necessary เหตุฉุกเฉิน
evacuation – moving people from a place of danger to a safer place การอพยพ
stranded – left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
ambassador – a senior official who lives in a foreign country and represents his or her own country there เอกอัครราชทูต
scheduled – planned to happen at a particular time or day ตามตารางเวลา
due – expected to happen or should happen มีกำหนด
local – in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
initially – at first ในเบื้องต้น
curfew – a law that does not allow people to go outside between a particular time in the evening and a particular time in the morning เคอร์ฟิว, ห้ามออกนอกบ้านในยามวิกาล
impose – to introduce something, such as a new law or new system and force people to accept it นำกฎหมายมาบังคับใช้
violence – physical force with the deliberate intention of causing damage to property or injury or death to people ความรุนแรง
erupt – to start suddenly ปะทุขึ้น
protester – someone who shows that they disagree with something by standing somewhere, shouting, carrying signs, etc ผู้ต่อต้าน, ผู้ประท้วง
transit – the act of moving from one place to another การเดินทางผ่าน
stuck – stranded; left somewhere with no way of going anywhere else ปล่อยเกาะ ถูกทิ้งไว้
sculpture – an object made by forming material such as wood, clay, metal or stone (or snow/ice) into solid objects that represent a thing, person, idea, etc. รูปสลัก, รูปปั้น, รูปหล่อ
descend – deteriorate; to become worse เลวร้ายลง
chaos – a situation in which everything is confused and in a mess การจราจล
provide – to give someone something that they want or need จัดหาให้, จัดเตรียมไว้ให้
meal – the food that you serve or eat at one time มื้ออาหาร
make do – to use whatever you have in a difficult situation แก้ขัด
embassy – a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
share – to have or use something at the same time as someone else ใช้ร่วมกัน
labourer – a person whose job involves hard physical work that is not skilled, especially work that is done outdoors กรรมกร, ผู้ใช้แรงงาน
protection – making sure that somebody/something is not harmed, injured, damaged, etc การป้องกัน,การอารักขา,การคุ้มกัน
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