30 die in Thailand bus accident
Nearly 30 people have been killed after a bus plunged off a bridge in Thailand’s northeast, police say.
The deadly accident took place around midnight Thursday-Friday in Lom Sak district of Phetchabun Province while the bus carrying New Year travelers was en route to the northern province of Chiang Rai.
“We suspect the bus driver fell asleep,” said Major General Sukit Samana, police commander of Phetchabun province, adding that 28 bodies were discovered in the ravine and one died in hospital.
“The eyewitness who informed the police said the bus went very fast before it plunged into the ravine,” Sukit said.
According to police commander, over 100 police, soldiers, civilians and rescue workers participated in the rescue operation launched after the accident in which the bus was completely destroyed.
“The accident may have been caused by a reckless driver as the bus was travelling at high speed going downhill and it crashed through the bridge railing before plunging into the 50- to 70-metre deep ravine,” Thailand’s Transport Minister Chadchart Sitthipunt said.
The accident comes at a time when millions of Thais travel during the New Year period to enjoy a five-day public holiday starting on Saturday.
The Asian country lacks high safety standards and sees numerous deadly road accidents.
In October, 20 people lost their lives when a tour bus plunged into a ravine in northeast Thailand.