Twenty people were known to have been killed and more than 40 injured after a freight train collided with a bus near Bangkok on Sunday (Oct 11). The collision happened at around 8am local time at Khlong Khwaeng Klan station in Chachoengsao province, about 50km east of the Thailand capital Bangkok.
There were about 60 passengers in the chartered bus travelling from neighbouring Samut Prakan province to a temple in Chachoengsao, said province governor Maitree Tritilanond.
The bus was on the track when the train hit, said the province’s disaster management agency. There was no barricade, it added.
By late afternoon, more than 30 passengers who had sustained mild injuries were sent home, four are in critical condition and eight remain under observation.
Footage shared by a government department showed the bus edging from the road onto train tracks before a blue cargo train slammed into its side. 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.
Rescue workers lifted the injured on stretchers into nearby parked ambulances, and two cranes arrived early in the afternoon to lift the vehicle off the tracks so that police could better assess the carnage.
The police are investigating the cause of the accident, the Chachoengsao Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Office said.
Thailand has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the world, according to a 2018 World Health Organization report.