18 people were killed and 44 others injured in Chachoensao when a bus collided with a freight train at a railway crossing yesterday, according to the police.
The collision happened about 8.05am yesterday, as a bus heading to a temple for a ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent went past a railway crossing near Khlong Kwaeng Klan station, about 50 kilometres east of Bangkok, a local district police chief said yesterday.
The bus was hit by freight train No 852, which was running cargo between Laem Chabang and Hua Takhae railway stations when it hit the bus in tambon Bang Toey in Chachoensao’s Muang district.
State Railway of Thailand’s governor, Nirut Maneephan, said the accident occurred at a crossing that was not approved for public use as it didn’t meet minimum safety requirements.
“We didn’t let vehicles use the crossing, but we had to give in to residents demands. They need to be aware of the trains,” said Mr Maneephan as he inspected the site of the accident yesterday.
13 out of the 44 injured passengers have been discharged from Ban Pho, Phutthasothorn and Kasemrat hospitals, where they were being treated for their injuries.
Footage shared by the SRT yesterday showed the bus approaching the tracks just moments before a blue cargo train slammed into its side.
The impact overturned the bus and ripped its top off. Rescue workers at the site said a crane was needed to lift it clear from the tracks.
The bus was overturned on its side, the top of it ripped off, and rescue workers said a crane was needed to lift it.
Witnesses said they heard the noise of the train’s horn blaring shortly before the horrifying crash.
The bus was carrying about 60 people from Samut Prakan, south of Bangkok, to Wat Bang Pla Nak for the annual tod kathin ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, police said.
The exact number of passengers on board the bus when the collision happened was still being determined by authorities.
The Department of Land Transport said not only did the bus carry more people than it was licenced for, but its owner had not paid the vehicle’s taxes.
Separately, Surat Thani governor Wichawut Jinto yesterday ordered local officials to survey 162 train crossings in the province after two people were injured after their car was struck by a train at a railway crossing on Saturday.
Out of the 162 train crossings in the province, only 39 meets SRT’s safety standards, he said.