LOEI – A truck ran off the road on a sharp curve in northeast Thailand’s Loei province early Monday morning, leaving 13 people dead and 18 others injured.
The accident happened at about 1:30 a.m. local time, Winai Nakorhkwang, a duty officer of Wang Saphung police station, was quoted by Bangkok Post as saying.
The injured have been rushed to hospitals, Winai said, adding nine people died on the spot and another succumbed to injuries later at the hospital.
The driver lost control of the truck on the sharp curve, which was then carrying about 30 people from northern Sukhothai province to work in sugarcane fields in northeastern Nong Khai province, a preliminary police report showed.
He said the vehicle’s brakes failed as he attempted to negotiate the steep mountain road, adding that he had to swerve to avoid dropping down into a ravine. His swerving caused the lorry to overturn and crash into a wall.
The workers on the back of the truck were thrown off, he said.
Caretaker Deputy Transport Minister Prin Suvanadat said yesterday that the road falls under the jurisdiction of the Department of Rural Roads.
He said the spot where the truck crashed is widely known as ‘’the bend of 100 bodies’’, because so many people have been killed in road accidents there.
Gen Prin said police believe the accident occurred because the driver was not used to the route and was travelling the steep slope at night, putting the vehicle at increased risk of accident.
Land Transport Department director-general Asdsathai Rattanadilok na Phuket said checks had found that the vehicle involved in the accident was registered as a private lorry, so was being used illegally.
The lorry’s owner could face a jail term of up to one year, a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both, Mr Asdsathai said. The lorry was registered on Dec 3, 1990 and last checked on Sept 11, 2013.
Somchai Prakobkaew, provincial branch chief for the Road Accident Victims Protection Company, said the families of the dead will each receive 200,000 baht in compensation while the injured will receive 5,000 baht for medical expenses.