Train crew killed by railway crossing truck collision

Train crew killed by railway crossing truck collision

The wrecked truck trailer and its cassava chip cargo, hurled into the trackside canal when hit by a train at a railway crossing in Muang district, Udon Thani, on Monday night. The train driver and engineer were killed. (Photo: Rescuemetha28 Foundation)
The wrecked truck trailer and its cassava chip cargo, hurled into the trackside canal when hit by a train at a railway crossing in Muang district, Udon Thani, on Monday night. The train driver and engineer were killed. (Photo: Rescuemetha28 Foundation)

UDON THANI: The train driver and the engineer were killed when their train hit an 18-wheel trailer truck at a railway crossing in Muang district of this northeastern province on Monday night, police said.

The accident occurred at the crossing near Ban Chan intersection in Muang district. Rapid train No134 (Nong Khai-Bangkok) hit the truck about 7.45pm, Pol Capt Narasak Nonthabut, a Muang duty officer, said.

The violent impact derailed the locomotive, which sustained heavy damage. The truck tractor was not damaged. The train hit the trailer, which was torn free from its coupling and hurled into the canal beside the tracks.

Wuthichai Ruang-aram, the train driver, and Jennarong Chuenchoy, the train engineer, were both killed, ripped out of the cabin and into the canal by the impact.

There were about 100 passengers in the train's nine cars. Some received minor injuries. 

Trailer truck driver Surachai Wongsuk, 58, said he was taking a load of cassava chips from Bung Kan province to Prachin Buri.

He did not stop at the crossing, but drove over it because the safety barrier arm was not  down. The truck was halfway across when he heard a train warning klaxon and then felt a huge impact as it crashed into the trailer and tore it from the mounting.

Mr Surachai was adamant the safety barrier was not down across the road. If it was, he would have stopped, he said.

Police were investigating who was to blame, whether a railway employee had failed to lower the safety barrier.

Train services were interrupted by the collision. Many track sleepers were found to have been broken and bolts fastening the track pulled free. The train was later moved off the track and a repair crew set to work.

Repairs were finished about 1.45am, allowing services to resume.

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