AS the first eight bodies of Thai workers who died in the Israel-Hamas war returned to Thailand this morning (Oct. 20), a senior Labour Ministry official said an assistance team is flying to Dubai to help Thai workers catch a connecting flight from there, Matichon newspaper said.
At 9.30 a.m. El Al Airlines flight LY083 bringing back the remains of the deceased workers landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport with Assistant Labour Minister Mr. Siraphop Duangsodsri, adviser to Labour Minister Mr. Thanat Thaweekuekul, Labour Permanent Secretary Mr. Pairot Chotikasathien, Foreign Minister Mr. Parnpree Bahiddha-nukara and Israeli Ambassador Mrs. Orna Sagiv being on hand to join the ceremony to receive them.
Their bodies will now be taken back to their hometown where their families are waiting to receive them.
The ministry is also liaising with Israeli authorities to pay the widows of the deceased workers 40,000 baht a month until she remarries plus 8,000 to 12,000 baht a month per child until the age of 18.
So far the number of Thais who have died in this war remained unchanged at 30 with 16 injured while 8,389 workers want to return home with 1,560 having done so.
Today two flights will bring another 540 workers back to Thailand.
The government sent over 4,000 sets of dry food for workers who have chosen to remain in Israel because they are further away from the battlefield.
Pairoj added that with it being possible for violence to escalate, on Sunday Oct. 22 some ministry officials are flying to Dubai to set up an assistance centre there and arrange for returning workers to fly from Israel to Dubai then catch a connecting flight back home.
Those workers who bought their own air ticket will get reimbursement upon submitting a receipt.
The returning bodies of eight Thai workers are as follows:
1) Mr. Phongsathorn Khunsri, Nakhon Ratchasima;
2) Mr. Phichit Nachan, Khon Kaen;
3) Mr. Chairat Sanusan, Udon Thani;
4) Mr. Anan Phetkaew, Chaiyaphum;
5) Mr. Phongphat Suchart, Sisaket;
6) Mr. Anucha Sophakul, Udon Thani;
7) Mr. Phongthep Kusaram, Khon Kaen;
8) Mr. Thanakrit Phrapakwong, Sukhothai.
Top and Front Page:The bodies of the eight deceased Thai workers at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Insert: Labour Premanent Secretary Pairot Chotikasathien talking to the press. All photos: Matichon