Thai pirates massacred 45 Vietnamese refugees sailing in the South China Sea and kidnapped about 11 women on the boat, officials on Saturday quoted two survivors as saying.

The pirates slashed the passengers with knives and threw them overboard before running their boat over the floating bodies to make sure no one was alive, they said.An old man and young boy were the only survivors of the attack that occurred within the past week, said the officials, who work with refugees and who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.

The two hid under planks floating in the water, and their boat later drifted to an Esso Oil Co. rig in the South China Sea off the Trengganu coast of Malaysia, the officials said. The company is a subsidiary of Exxon.

Workers picked up the two Monday and sent them to the Malaysian government hospital in Kuala Trengganu, 180 miles northeast of Kuala Lumpur.