Bus-train collision in Thailand leaves at least 20 dead, dozens hurt
- Collision occurred when tour bus with 65 passengers crossed railway tracks during rain
- Passengers were travelling to a Buddhist temple 80km east of Bangkok
At least 20 people died early Sunday when a train collided with a bus in central Thailand, officials said.
The tour bus was travelling with 65 passengers on board when it crossed the railway track during rain in Chacheongsao province, 80km (50 miles) east of Bangkok, where a train smashed into the vehicle.
Prathueng Yookassem, the district chief officer, told Thailand’s PBS TV that as well as the dead at least 30 were injured.
“It was raining, perhaps, the driver did not see the train,” he said.
All of the injured were brought to two hospitals. Police say they are investigating.
The bus passengers were travelling from Samut Prakan province to a Buddhist temple in Chachoengsao for a merit-making ceremony.
Early images by rescue workers showed gnarled metal and debris, with bodies lying by the train tracks and people’s belongings scattered.
The bus was overturned on its side, the top of it ripped off, and rescue workers said a crane was needed to lift it.
The number of casualties and injured was expected to rise.
Such deadly accidents are common in Thailand, which regularly tops lists of the world’s most lethal roads, with speeding, drunk driving and weak law enforcement all contributing factors.
According to a 2018 report by the World Health Organization, Thailand has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the world.
Though a majority of the victims are motorcyclists, bus crashes involving groups of tourists and migrant labourers often grab headlines.
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse, Reuters