17 dead in horrific Thailand bus-train collision


Helpers treating injured people after a bus-train deadly collision in Chacheongsao province, 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday (Oct. 11, 2020). The tour bus was traveling with scores of passengers on board when it crossed the railway track during rain in Chacheongsao, where a train smashed into the vehicle. - AFP

BNAGKOK, Oct 11 (AFP): At least 17 passengers were killed and more than dozen injured on Sunday when a bus collided with a train in Thailand, officials said.

The bus passengers were on their way to a temple in Cha Choeng Sao province -- two hours from the capital Bangkok -- for a ceremony to mark the end of Buddhist Lent, said a district police chief.

"The death toll we have so far is 17," he said, adding that the accident occurred around 8am local time (0100 GMT).

Provincial governor Maitree Tritilanond told reporters that so far about 29 people were injured.

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 is 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 Organisation, 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.

In March 2018, at least 18 people were killed and dozens wounded when a bus carrying people returning from holiday in northeastern Thailand swerved off the road and smashed into a tree.- AFP
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