SURAT THANI – A 34 year-old Thai woman and her 7 year-old daughter were killed when their car was hit by a south bound Train destined for Yala at a crossing in southern Thailand on Saturday morning. Her four year old daughter also suffered serious head injuries.
The crash happened at the unguarded crossing between in tambon Phunphin in Surat Thani, Province, said Pol Lt Col Chokdee Sukhor, investigation chief at Phunphin police station.
Police and rescue workers rushing to the scene found the badly damaged Totoya Yaris about 50 metres from the tracks.
Driver Amornrat Suator, 34, was found dead and trapped inside her car. Her two daughters — Saranporn Phadthong, 7, and Supatchara, 4 — were badly injured.
After being rushed to a hospital, 7 year-old Saranporn was pronounced dead, while 4 year-old Supatchara was in critical condition, suffering serious skull injuries.
The locomotive of the Bangkok-Yala sprinter train was found partly damaged. Repair crews took one hour to fix the damaged section before the train continued to send passengers to the next stop at Surat Thani railway station.
Before the incident, Amornrat was taking her daughters to tutoring classes in tambon Phunphin.
Police assumed the woman might not have noticed the oncoming train from Bangkok when she passed the unguarded crossing.
The force of the crash threw the car onto a grass field along the track.
Supinya Phadthong, 35, Amornrat’s husband, said his wife often took their children to tutoring classes. Normally, she did not use this crossing as he had told her not to use it due to dense grass and poor visibility in the area.
He urged the State Railway of Thailand to put up a barrier at the crossing to prevent a recurrence. Grass for cattle should not have been planted along the railway tracks, he said.
“I’m deeply saddened by the losses. My youngest daughter still suffers serious injuries,’’ said Mr Supinya.
Surat Thani governor Witchawut Jintor, who also went to the scene, said he had ordered officials to cut trees and grass along the railway crossing to improve visibility for motorists and people using the route.
He would coordinate with the State Railway of Thailand to find ways to prevent a recurrence.
Thai media report another sprinter had hit a pickup truck at another unguarded crossing in Tha Chana district of this southern province on Jan 22 this year, killing two.
By Supapong Chaolan
The Bangkok Post