(18 October) A Bangkok – Chiang Rai interprovincial coach has overturned in Pathum Thani province today, injuring 40 passengers including one individual who was thrown out of the bus.
According to the driver, after the bus departed from Mo Chit terminal it encountered a truck which drifted suddenly into its lane on Phahonyothin Road in Khlong Luang district. The driver said he soon lost control of the coach and plunged it into the roadside ditch.
Police and rescue team rushed to assist the passengers as most of them were stuck inside the coach, which was operated by Transport Co. Ltd., a state enterprise.
One passenger was severely injured. Witnesses said they had seen the passenger was thrown out from the upper-level seat after the window broke. Initial reports claimed that the said passenger was not wearing the seatbelt, contrary to the new regulation issued by the Transport Co. Ltd. on 15 October.
All 40 injured passengers were sent to a local hospital.
The accident took place just a day after Transport Minister Chatchart visited an interprovincial bus terminal in Bangkok and wrote on his Facebook: “We are promoting the campaign to call for all passengers to fasten their seatbelt. Although [wearing seatbelts] is not comfortable, it is very safe".
He added, “If the bus is travelling at 100 km/h, we are also travelling at 100 km/h. If the bus crashed, we are going to hit with 100 km/h speed to the seats in front of us. We would be lucky if we’re not dead.”
Mr. Chatchart also recalled the major coach accident in Saraburi province in which 19 people were killed after the crashed bus caught fire, noting that "Many victims received severe injuries on their legs because their bodies smashed into the seats in front of them", which prevented them from leaving the bus in timely manner.
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