KRABI – Two people have been killed and another six injured when a tour bus crashed into a pickup truck at an intersection in Ao Luek district in the Southern Province of Krabi on Friday night (March 23).
The Double-Decker tour bus, belonging to Chanasit Tour Co in Phuket, was on the way to pick up tourists at Krabi international airport.
The driver, Udomsak Thongorapglgasri, 40, drove the bus to the airport from Phuket, taking his family who included his wife, 3-year-old son and 3-month-old daughter, and a busboy.
The pickup truck was driven by Viroj Kijakarn, 48. He was travelling in the truck with two friends.
Witnesses told the police that when the bus arrived at the intersection, the pickup truck emerged from the opposite way and collided with the tour bus.
It was not immediately known if it was the pickup truck or the bus which ran a red light at the intersection.
The impact of the collision sent the two vehicles to veer off the road and hit roadside and power poles shophouses. A brief fire also sparked in the engine room of the badly damaged bus.
Thammanoon Phutthama, the 3-year-old son of the bus driver and Viroj, the pickup truck driver were killed at scene.
All six persons in the bus and truck were also injured. They were pulled out of the wrecks of the vehicles and were rushed to Ao Luek hospital.
Actual cause of the fatal accident was under investigation, police said.
Meanwhile, Academic Centre for Road Safety director Dr Thanapong Jinvong said yesterday there are about 7,000 double-decker buses on the country’s roads, 1,500 of which were fixed-route transport buses and the remaining 5,500 operating as private for-hire vehicles, which were more problematic, because most of those vehicles did not meet current safety standards.
Many of the double-decker buses that registered before 2014 do not pass essential safety standards, such as the height of the bus being over 4.2 metres, and do not pass inclination tests at 30 degrees, so it is very risky if these buses to drive on dangerous and steep routes.
Source: Thai PBS, The Nation