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Double Decker Bus Plunges into Ravine Injuring 48 Passengers in North Central Thailand

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PHETCHABUN – A Double Decker bus travelling from Chaiyaphum to Samut Prakan hit a pickup truck and plunged into a ravine in North Central province of Phetchabun on Sunday, injuring 48 people.

Pol Sen Sgt Maj Narong Noikalya of Wichien Buri police station told the Bangkok Post that a private bus operated by Chokkrittaporn Tour hit a pickup truck and then plunged 50 metres down a ravine at Khao Nam Orm.

At least 48 people were injured, the duty officer said, and were sent to four hospitals. There were no initial reports of fatalities.

Pol Sen Sgt Maj Narong Noikalya said the brake system of the bus may have malfunctioned as it descended a hill, causing it to crash into the pickup travelling in the opposite direction.

The bus was taking passengers from Chaiyaphum to Samut Prakan for a thod pha pa ceremony. It was unclear whether the robe-offering ceremony took place in Chaiyaphum or Samut Prakan.

In January of 2017 Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered a ban on the registration of new Double-Decker tour buses and stricter road worthiness checks for all public transport vehicles.

The prime minister instructed that the Land Transport Department suspend or revoke the licences of reckless drivers and impose heavier penalties on bus operators, such as tour bus companies, that put substandard buses into service.

By Chaiyasit Phupharat