RATCHABURI — Officials are investigating the derailment of five cars from the Oriental Express train in western Thailand yesterday.
Two passengers were injured when a section of the luxury train, operated by Eastern and Oriental Express company, derailed at a curve in Ban Pong district of Ratchaburi province at around 10.30 am on Sunday.
Two Japanese women were injured and sent to local hospital. Police describe their injuries as "light."
Train operators say the train was traveling from Hua Lampong station in Bangkok to its final destination in Singapore. The train reportedly carried 77 passengers, mostly European and Asian tourists, staff say.
Officials from the State Railway of Thailand (SRT) said that heavy rain may have caused the train track to sink and widen, causing the derailment.
However, SRT officials stressed that a more thorough investigation is needed to establish the true cause of the incident.
"A central committee will be appointed to investigate the derailment," said Narongrit Sivasarote, a chief engineer of the SRT. "We expect that the investigation will take one month."
Derailment and delays are common on Thai railways, due in part to old facilities and a lack of proper maintenance. A proposal by the previous government to construct a high-speed train system was struck down by the Constitutional Court on the ground that the project’s budget lacked transparency.
According to the Eastern and Oriental Express website, a ticket for the four-day Bangkok – Singapore train journey costs approximately 83,000 baht per person.
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