BANGKOK, July 2 (Xinhua) -- A pickup truck carrying undocumented Cambodian workers crashed into a passenger van and fell into a roadside ditch in eastern Thailand, leaving nine injured and 11 escaped on Sunday.
The illegal Cambodian workers were rushing to their hometown, as the Thai government has imposed harsh punishments against recruitment of undocumented alien laborers.
The driver of the pickup probably fell asleep when it smashed into the van, according to police. 11 of the illicit migrant workers escaped into the forest nearby for fear of arrest, while the nine injured were too weak to run away.
The van driver said there has been an "exodus" of migrant workers from neighboring countries like Cambodia and Myanmar recently.
Officials have earlier unveiled that more than 2,000 undocumented migrant workers from Myanmar and Cambodia went back home from Thailand recently, after a decree aimed at managing foreign workers came into effect.
The executive decree, issued on June 23, aims to raise recruitment and management standards and reduce accusations by the international community of labor abuse and human trafficking.
It contains harsh punishments on violators, with prison terms and fines ranging from 400,000 to 800,000 baht (11,764 to 23,529 U.S dollars).
According to Deputy Prime Minister Wissanu Krea-ngam, the government's legal adviser, the government will invoke its absolute power to delay the enforcement of the decree for 120 days. Many employers lay off undocumented workers, resulting in the exodus.