BANGKOK – Eighteen people were killed and another 44 injured after a goods train collided with a tour bus at Chachoengsao province, about 50 kilometres east of Bangkok today.
State Railway of Thailand (SRT) governor Nirut Maneephan confirmed the death toll.
“Of the 44 injured, 31 people received treatment and were discharged from hospitals,” he said in a statement.
In the incident at about 8 am (local time) at a railway crossing near Khlong Khwaeng Klan railway station in Chachoengsao province, the train from Laem Chabang in Rayong collided with a bus carrying about 60 passengers travelling from Samut Prakan to a temple in Chachoengsao for a ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent.
Chachoengsao Governor Maitree Traitilanan said the bus was crossing the railway track when the incident occurred.
“Initial investigation revealed that despite the train sounding the whistle, the bus crossed the railway track as there was no barricade which resulted in the tragedy.
Maitree said the police are investigating the cause of the collision.
Local media reported that bodies were lying by the railway track while some were trapped inside the bus and the belongings of bus passengers were seen scattered all over the scene.
Meanwhile, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha expressed his condolences to the family members of the deceased and those injured in the tragic crash.
In the meantime, government spokesperson, Anucha Burapachaisri said the Prime Minister had ordered Chachoengsao governor and the relevant authorities to provide immediate assistance to family members of all victims.