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Passenger Van Rams into Roadside Tree Killing 5 Teachers in Southern Thailand

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NARATHIWAT – As Thailand’s seven dangerous days quickly approaches, five teachers have been killed and eight others injured when the driver of their van hit a roadside tree in Bacho district of Narathiwat early Wednesday.

A rescue team, police officers, soldiers and local officials arriving at the scene found the dead and injured people in the wreckage of a passenger van. Most of the passengers were teachers at Darussalam School in Rangae district of this southern province.

Four women were pronounced dead at the scene, nine others, including the driver and eight women, were injured.

Photo of the passenger van carrying 12 teachers from a checkpoint in Hat Yai, Songkhla to Narathiwat rammed into a roadside tree early Wednesday, killing five teachers and injuring eight others, including the driver.- Photo by Waedao Harai

All were rushed to two nearby hospitals. One of those injured was later pronounced dead at Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra Hospital, bringing the number of fatalities to five.

Police found no evidence that the van’s brakes were applied.

The investigation showed that the van driver was hired to pick up a group of female Muslim teachers returning from a study trip in Malaysia at Sadao checkpoint in Hat Yai district of Songkhla.

On the way back to Narathiwat province, the van rammed into a roadside tree, resulting in the deaths and injuries.

Police believed the driver might have dozed off at the wheel.

By Waedao Harai