60 dead, 724 hurt in 5th day of Songkran road havoc

60 dead, 724 hurt in 5th day of Songkran road havoc

People riding on a motorbike react as a boy splashes water on them during a Songkran celebration in Bangkok Monday. Water being thrown at motorbikes is a leading cause of accidents during the period. (AP photo)
People riding on a motorbike react as a boy splashes water on them during a Songkran celebration in Bangkok Monday. Water being thrown at motorbikes is a leading cause of accidents during the period. (AP photo)

Sixty people were killed and 724 were injured in 671 traffic accidents nationwide on the first official day of the Songkran holiday Monday.

In the first five days of annual Thai New Year festival April 9-13, there were 2,406 road accidents in which 251 people died and 2,532 others were injured.

Damrong Sithakhajonboon, assistant secretary to the education minister, said that Nakhon Si Thammarat posted the largest number of traffic accidents, 32, and the most injured, 33. The highest death toll, five, occurred in Surat Thani province.

On Monday alone, the number of road accidents increased year-on-year by 48%, fatalities by 36% and injuries by 44%. Monday marked the start of the three-day legal holiday that runs April 13-15.

From April 9-13, Nakhon Si Thammarat province had the highest numbers of accidents, 94, and the most injured, 98. The most fatalities, 11, occurred in Roi Et province.

During the past five days, the number of accidents fell by 3%, but the death toll rose 0.4% while injuries dropped by 4% year-on-year.

More than 40% of the accidents resulted from drunk driving and most of them involved motorcycles.


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