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Migrant killed in Thai mishap

A Cambodian construction worker tumbled four storeys from his worksite in southern Thailand on Tuesday and died from his injuries the following day, officials said.

His death is the most recent in a series of construction accidents in Thailand this year that have killed or injured Cambodian migrant workers.

Kang Khy, 27, was employed as a registered migrant labourer at a construction project in Chonburi province, south of Bangkok, at the time of the accident, said Neth Saray, Cambodian consular-general.

“He slipped off the building and hit the ground. He got critically injured and was sent to a hospital in the province, but died due to his injuries,” Saray explained.

Khy’s body was repatriated to his family in Banteay Meanchey on Wednesday night.

“The employer paid for his funeral, around 5,000 baht [about $155] already. After the funeral, the family will go to Thailand and work with the consulate to file a complaint for compensation,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Koy Kuong.

Neither Kuong nor Saray could provide the name of the construction company that had employed Khy.

Thailand’s booming construction industry, which predominantly employs migrant workers, is particularly accident- and hazard-prone.

In 2011, there were 10,619 occupational accidents, some of which were deadly, according to Thai government figures.

“There are good standards and safety conditions on paper, but still, very often Cambodian migrants get hurt,” said Moeun Tola, labour program head at the Community Legal Education Centre.

Thai rights groups have cited a lack of site inspections as the cause for high accident rates, such as in August when a six-storey building collapsed and crushed three undocumented Cambodian workers to death.

The families received between $155 and $200 to cover funeral expenses, but no further compensation. Thai workers reportedly received an additional 55,000 baht from the company.

“Construction companies must be responsible for accidents that happen to all migrants. Documented or undocumented, the workers are still human beings,” Tola said.

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