2 killed as school bus crashes, burns

2 killed as school bus crashes, burns

A bus on its way to pick up students in Nonthaburi for a school trip caught fire Wednesday, killing the driver and burning his wife alive.

The front tyre of the double-deck, air-conditioned bus exploded on Ratchaphruek Road headed toward Rattanathibet Road in Muang district, said Pol Lt Col Noppadon Phusamrong, a duty officer at Bang Srimuang police station alerted around 5.20am.

A team of police, doctors and rescue workers rushed to the tambon Bang Rak Noi scene to find the bus fully engulfed on the road divider. Three fire trucks took around 45 minutes to quell the flames.

A body of a woman, identified later as Chonthida Choksasomnitipop, 32, was found burned beyond recognition inside the bus. Her husband, bus driver Nawatsant Choksasomnitipop, 43, sustained broken legs. He was rushed to a hospital but died shortly later.

Police said Nawatsant, his wife and another bus helper, identified as Ek, had left Ratchaburi's Pak Tho district early Wednesday morning to pick up students at Horwang Nonthaburi School for a study trip in Samut Prakan.

On the way to the school, the right front tyre suddenly exploded, causing the bus to crash into the road divider and catch fire. Passersby and Ek managed to pull the driver from the vehicle, but were unable to save his wife, who was sleeping in the back.

Authorities said the tragedy would have been even worse had the bus been full of students.

The bodies of the couple were sent to a forensic institute for examination before being handed over to their relatives for funeral rites.

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