KHON KAEN – Twenty-four students have beeninjured, nine of them seriously, when a modified school bus they were travelling in, skidded off the road into a roadside ditch, flipping over onto it’s side on the Nampong-Kranuan highway in Nampong district of Khon Kaen province on Friday.
The driver, 50-year old Mr. Suwat Natenee, told the district police that it was raining heavily while he was driving the school bus, (modified truck from a six wheeled truck) carrying 40 students, when he applied the brakes the vehicle started skidding on the slippery road.
He said that the vehicle skidded out of the road into the roadside ditch and flipped over, throwing several students out of the vehicle, others were actually sitting on the roof of the vehicle.
Rescue workers were rushed to the scene and took the injured students to Nampong district hospital. Nine students were found to be seriously injured and were admitted to the hospital for emergency treatment while 15 others were given first aid and released to their parents.
Mr. Suwat claimed he was driving the school vehicle at approximately 60 kph, police are investigating the accident and the modified vehicle, no charges have been laid.
Meanwhile, in Na Di district of Prachin Buri an 8-wheel trailer truck crashed and exploded in flames, killing one person and injuring three others, in a huge pileup involving about a dozen vehicles.
It blocked the two-lane road in both directions and halted all traffic, which banked up for about 10 kilometers before the road was finally cleared.
The accident was caused by an 18-wheeler taking a cargo of tapioca flour from Nakhon Ratchasima to Prachin Buri, which ran into 22-wheeler loaded with sugar.
The tapioca truck, which was gas fuelled, exploded in flames and the driver Arthit Srithongchai, 39, was killed.
His wife Saisuda Srithongchai, 36, told police the truck had developed a problem with its brakes before the accident, Pol Capt Panakhan Rattananet, duty officer at Wang Khon Daeng police station in Na Di district, said. Her husband had slowed the vehicle and asked her to gather some stones and use them to block the rear wheels.
After she got out, the vehicle suddenly lurched forward and hit a 22-wheel truck carrying sugar. The gas tanks exploded and the two trucks were engulfed in flames, Pol Capt Panakhan said.
Eleven vehicles were entangled in the resulting pileup, trailer trucks, pickups and sedans – five vehicles going down the hill and six coming from the opposition direction.