BANGKOK – An interprovincial bus driver has been killed and 33 passengers hurt when the bus rear-ended a trailer truck in the early hours of Saturday.
The crash happened around 1.20am, in central Thailand’s Prachinburi Province said Pol Capt Prayong Mongwongsuwan said. The Rayong-Nong Khai bus, was found in a roadside ditch when police and rescue arrived at the scene.
The front of the bus was badly damaged with the driver badly hurt and trapped inside.
Rescue workers took more than 30 minutes to retrieve the bus driver, identified later as Sombat Keepchampee, from the wreckage.
Mr Sombat and 33 injured passengers were rushed to hospitals, but the bus driver was later pronounced dead.
Next to the bus was a 18-wheel trailer truck involved in the crash. Many boxes of milk were found scattered on the road. Truck driver Kriangsak Paewklang, 42, was uninjured.
Thavorn Insorn, an assistant bus driver, told police he and most passengers were sleeping at the time and were waken up by a loud crash. He then assisted passenger getting out of the bus.
Wichian Suwansonthi, 60, another bus staff member, said he sat next to the driver. It was raining along the route and the bus tried to overtake the trailer truck, but failed. This caused the bus to ram into the back of the truck, he said.
Yosakorn Soda, 39, one of the injured passengers in the bus crash, confirmed Mr Wichian’s account.
Pol Lt Col Prapon Srithongpian, deputy chief of Kabin Buri police, said the injured were sent to three nearby hospitals. Police were investigating.
The bus operator sent another bus to take the unhurt passengers to Nong Khai.