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Day Six of Songkrans “Seven Dangerous Days” 277 Dead, 2,926 Injured

Thai rescue workers carry bodies of Cambodian migrant workers killed in a road accident in Chanthaburi province on April 11, 2014. Nine Cambodians were killed when a mini-bus carrying migrant workers returning home for the Buddhist New Year crashed and burst into flames in eastern Thailand, police said.

Thai rescue workers carry bodies of Cambodian migrant workers killed in a road accident in Chanthaburi province on April 11, 2014. Nine Cambodians were killed when a mini-bus carrying migrant workers returning home for the Buddhist New Year crashed and burst into flames in eastern Thailand, police said.

THAILAND – Road accidents killed 277 people nationwide over the first six of the seven days of the Songkran holiday, according to the Road Safety Centre of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
Visarn Techateerawat, caretaker deputy minister of interior, said that statistics compiled by the Road Safety Centre showed that 2,754 road accidents during the first six days of the seven-day campaign to reduce road accidents nationwide, ending today.
The number of road accidents over the first six days this year was 173 more than the first six days of the previous year, 277 deaths was nine less fatalities than last year and 2,926 injuries represented an increase of 143 over last year, he said.

Yesterday alone, 29 deaths and 283 injuries in 273 road accidents were reported.

This bus from Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang ran off the road and hit a tree in Hot district, Chiang Mai, on Thursday, killing at least four people and injuring about 50 others. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)

This bus from Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang ran off the road and hit a tree in Hot district, Chiang Mai, on Thursday, killing at least four people and injuring about 50 others. (Photo by Cheewin Sattha)

Chiang Mai was tops in the number of accidents recorded at 107 while the death toll was highest in Nakhon Ratchasima at 13, while
Chiang Mai has also has the highest number of injuries at 118. Most accidents resulted from drunk driving, followed by speeding.
Motorcycles are the vehicle type with the highest number of accidents, followed by pickup trucks.

Seven killed in Two Bus Accidents

In Chiang Mai a bus accident in Hot district on Thursday killed four people and injured about 50, police said.

The bus was taking passengers from Chiang Mai to Mae Sariang district in Mae Hong Son. It left the road between kilometre markers 24 and 25 between Hot and Mae Sariang.

The bus hit a motorcycle before slamming into a tree, Hot police said.

Three people, all of them females, were found dead on the road near the motorcycle, and another male died in Hot hospital, they said.

About 50 passengers were sent to the same hospital.

An initial investigation by the district police said the bus driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into the  motorcycle coming from the opposite direction before hitting the tree.

The overturned double-decker bus blocks both lanes of the road in Tha Muang district, Kanchanaburi, on Thursday, April 17, 2014, Three passengers were killed.

The overturned double-decker bus blocks both lanes of the road in Tha Muang district, Kanchanaburi, on Thursday, April 17, 2014, Three passengers were killed.

The road in the area has several curves as it passes through mountains

In the Bangkok area a double-decker bus carrying elderly people to a temple in Tha Muang district overturned, crashing on to its side, on a main road on Thursday morning, killing three passengers and leaving another 39 injured, police said.

The bus was carrying passengers from Thon Buri district of Bangkok, to Wat Wang Khanai Tayikaram in Tha Muang district for Buddhist rites.

The bus overturned about 9.30am in Tha Maka district.

The police and rescue volunteers said they found the bus lying on its right side, blocking both lanes of the road. Motorists were directed to other routes.

Rescuers said 40 injured passengers were sent to two nearby hospitals. Two passengers, Jinda Yukongphan, 62, and Wiphanrat Jongnarungsin, 61, died inside the bus. A third person died in hospital.

Sirichai Phetkaew, 17, a bus boy, said the double-decker bus, belonged to Heng Heng Tour, suddenly overturned. He could not provide more details of why it overturned as he was not fully awake, rescuers said.

Police suspect the driver fell asleep at the wheel. He was believed to be unfamiliar with the road and was driving too fast.

Thais ranked as fourth heaviest drinkers in the world

According to a new study, Thailand ranks fourth on the list as the world’s heaviest drinkers.

Out of the 44 countries studied by Euromonitor, Thais were found to be the fourth hardest drinkers at 4.5 shots per week, closely trailing behind South Korea, Russia, and the Phillippines.

South Koreans, who topped the list, drink more alcohol than Russians, Americans, and Britons combined. South Korea’s unparalleled liquor consumption is almost entirely down to the country’s love for the fermented rice spirit Soju.

The study was released after the ‘seven dangerous days’ of the Songkran Festival is coming to an end. The unusually high death toll reported during the period resulted mainly from drunk driving, despite government campaigns to curb fatalities.

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