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Blaze kills dozens at refugee camp in Thailand

From Aliza Kassim, CNN
updated 11:31 AM EDT, Sat March 23, 2013
More than 100 people were injured in the fire, which destroyed about 400 homes at the Mae Surin camp.
More than 100 people were injured in the fire, which destroyed about 400 homes at the Mae Surin camp.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: 100 more people are injured
  • NEW: One burn victim is a 13-year-old boy
  • The blaze leaves 2,300 refugees homeless
  • Preliminary reports indicate a cooking accident triggered it

(CNN) -- A fire erupted at a camp in northwest Thailand, killing 32 refugees from Myanmar, the Thai health ministry said Saturday.

At least 100 others were injured, the ministry said in a statement, including a 13-year-old boy who was burned over 90% of his body.

Preliminary reports indicate a cooking accident triggered the blaze Friday evening, according to the United Nations.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the fire, which destroyed hundreds of huts and left 2,300 refugees homeless.

It affected Ban Mae Surin refugee camp in Mae Hong Son province, and destroyed a clinic and food center.

"We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident and doing what we can to provide instant relief," said Mireille Girard, a representative for the United Nations refugee agency in Thailand.

"Our teams are returning to the camp this morning with plastic sheets, blankets, bed mats and other items to provide temporary emergency shelter before their homes can be rebuilt."

The camp, launched in 1992, houses thousands of refugees who fled ethnic conflict in Myanmar.

Explainer: Thailand's deadly southern insurgency

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