Another 90 Thai workers return home from Israel

Another 90 Thai workers return home from Israel

The third group of 90 Thai workers from Israel arrive at U-tapao international airport in Ban Chang district, Rayong province, at 5.45am on Sunday. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)
The third group of 90 Thai workers from Israel arrive at U-tapao international airport in Ban Chang district, Rayong province, at 5.45am on Sunday. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

The third group of 90 Thai workers, 88 men and two women, returned home from Israel on a commercial flight on Sunday morning on a trip arranged by the government.

The workers departed from Israel on Saturday at 11am (local time) on Fly Dubai Flight FZ1550 to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. They then took connecting flight FZ1837 at 7pm on the same day and arrived at U-tapao international airport in Ban Chang district, Rayong province, at 5.45am on Sunday.

They were greeted on arrival by U-tapao airport director Adm Sithichai Tangchai, Rayong governor Traipop Wongtrairat, Department of Employment deputy director-general Sibmuenchai Pothisin and other officials.

The workers were provided with food and drinking water and taken on three chartered buses to SC Park Hotel in Bangkok's Wang Thonglang district where they were to be greeted by waiting relatives.

Nathapong Nuanchan, 35, a wounded worker, is among 90 workers returning home from Israel on Sunday. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

The first Thai worker brought out of the airport in a wheelchair was Nathapong Nuanchan, 35, who was wounded in the right leg.

Mr Nathapong, from Udon Thani province, said he worked at a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip with about 10 other Thai workers. On the morning of Oct 7, they heard the noise of gunfire and explosions. He and his friends crouched on the ground. He later felt he was hit by shrapnel in the right leg.

The workers were helped out of the area by Israeli troops who arrived shortly afterwards.

Mr Nathapong said he had worked in Israel for about four years and still had a year to go under an employment contract. He said he would not seek to return to Israel but would instead look for a job in his home province of Udon Thani.

Three chartered buses are arranged to take the workers to SC Park Hotel in Bangkok's Wang Thonglang district. (Photo: Chaiyot Pupattanapong)

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said on Saturday the Thai embassy in Tel Aviv reported the Thai death toll from the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group had risen to 24. The number of Thais abducted and injured stood at 16 each, Mr Srettha said, and the government would continue coordinating with various agencies to evacuate Thais as soon as possible.

The number of Thais showing their intention to return to Thailand had risen to about 7,000 as of yesterday, said the prime minister.

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