Bodies of slain Thais to return home

Bodies of slain Thais to return home

One still in hospital after Hamas strike

Ruenrat Saelee sits with a photo of her husband, Weerawat Karunborirak, at their house in Khao Kho district of Phetchabun province on Wednesday. (Photo: Sunthorn Kongwarakom)
Ruenrat Saelee sits with a photo of her husband, Weerawat Karunborirak, at their house in Khao Kho district of Phetchabun province on Wednesday. (Photo: Sunthorn Kongwarakom)

The bodies of two Thai workers killed in Israel in a rocket strike by the Palestinian militant group Hamas on Tuesday will arrive in Thailand next Wednesday, says Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

Mr Suchart said on Thursday that he telephoned Pannabha Chandraramya, Ambassador of Thailand to Israel, who told him the bodies of Weerawat Karunborirak, 44 and Sikharin Sangamram, 24, will be flown home to Suvarnabhumi airport on that day.

As for the eight Thai workers wounded in the attack, one of them, Attarachai Thamkaew, 28, was still in hospital though the rest of them have already been discharged.

He said he was also informed by the Thai ambassador that five Thai workers in Israel have told the embassy that they want to return to Thailand next Tuesday.

He said he had learnt that the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv has asked Israel's Consular Affairs Department to help take care of other Thai workers in the country.

The day after the deadly rocket strike, Israel assigned psychiatrists to meet Thai workers at the scene of the attack to give them counselling.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also arrived to explain the situation and convey his condolences via the Thai ambassador to the victims and their families, Mr Suchart said.

He said the Thai ambassador had told Mr Netanyahu that while the attack was under way, the sirens to warn people in the area of incoming rockets were not working while air-raid shelters may not have been sufficient. Mr Netanyahu promised to improve them.

Mr Suchart said the Thai ambassador also told him that if any Thai workers want to leave dangerous areas near the Gaza Strip, they could contact the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv.

Representatives of the Buri Ram Provincial Labour Office on Thursday visited Sikharin's family members to tell them about the compensation they will receive.

They included a payment of 40,000 baht for each victim from the Thai Worker Fund and 50,000 baht in funeral costs from the Social Security Office.

Lamphan Uppakhun, an aunt of Sikharin, said her nephew has two children, aged only two and four, and his sudden death would make their life difficult.

Ms Lamphan asked the labour authorities to compensate his family to cover general costs, debts and education costs for his children.

Sommat Phothi, chief of Trakan Phuetphon District Office in Ubon Ratchathani, visited Orachon Thamkaew, 56, the mother of one of the injured victims, Mr Attarachai.

She said she has had insomnia since finding out about his injuries though Narong Phlaengson, chief of the public health office of the district, reassured her that he was not in a severe condition.

Ms Orachon said she only learnt her son had been hurt half an hour after talking to him on the phone.

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