SRT turns to divine for help

The State Railway of Thailand (SRT) will hold a major merit-making ceremony on Saturday, hoping it will help prevent more accidents on its trouble-plagued lines.

Part of a railway bridge is left damaged after the last carriage of an in-bound Bangkok-Butterworth train derailed while leaving Bang Sue 2 station yesterday. APICHART JINAKUL

It comes after another train jumped the tracks in Bangkok on Friday, taking the SRT's derailment tally to 114 this year.

The ceremony will help restore the morale of staff members following the high number of accidents, SRT governor Prapat Chongsanguan said on Friday.

"Personally, I believe Thailand has survived several bad incidents because of divine protection. The SRT should too," he said, adding that the merit-making is also being held to mark the state-owned rail authority's 117th anniversary.

Responding to suggestions by a number of more superstitious critics that the spate of accidents might be because of damage to a 48-year-old painting at the SRT's headquarters, Mr Prapat said he is looking for a restorer to repair the artwork, but has yet to find one.

The governor made the comments during an inspection of the latest train derailment yesterday.

The Bangkok-bound train, which departed from Butterworth, Malaysia, jumped the tracks about 11.20am while travelling between Bang Sue 2 station and Sam Sen station.

Mr Prapat said the last carriage of the 10-car train left the tracks, damaging about 100 metres of track.

No one was injured.

Officials at the scene said a bolt locking a rail to a sleeper had come loose.

About the author

Writer: Amornrat Mahitthirook
Position: Reporter