BANGKOK: A migrant worker from Myanmar was killed after he slipped into a meat grinder at a pet food factory in Thailand, police said Wednesday.
The man, who police identified as 37-year-old Zaw May Zir, died on Monday evening at a factory in southeastern Chonburi province, 80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Bangkok.
“It was an accident,” Lieutenant Thaninthorn Suaypan, a case officer with Chonburi police told AFP by telephone.
“I went to examine the man with the doctor and the lower half of his body was crushed,” Thaninthorn added.
Police said they believed the man, who had worked at the factory for five years, was unable to extricate himself from the grinder because it was filled with glue used to create artificial bones for dogs to chew on.
“When he fell into the mixer he could not move because of the glue,” Thaninthorn said.
Police said the man’s wife had been informed of her husband’s death.
The factory, which police said used the name Pet Smart, did not pick up the phone when called by AFP.
More than a million poor migrant workers are employed in Thailand, mainly from neighboring Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.
Many work in the country illegally, something labor groups say leaves them open to exploitation by employers in industries where safety standards are notoriously lax.
Since seizing power last May, Thailand’s junta have vowed to document all migrant workers inside the country in a bid to crack down on illegal employment.
In March they reported that at least 1.6 million workers from Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos have been registered so far.
The pet food factory worker’s death came on the same day a horrific road smash left nine Myanmar migrants working in Thailand’s fishing industry dead.
Police said 26 workers were crammed into the vehicle after their shift when the accident happened late Monday in the coastal province of Samut Sakhon, 45 kilometers (28 miles) from Bangkok.
Thailand’s fishing industry, the third largest in the world, is blighted by accusations of slave labor, low pay and poor conditions — something the junta has also vowed to crack down on.