2 more bus wrecks claim 3 lives, hurt 71

2 more bus wrecks claim 3 lives, hurt 71

Five fatal coach wrecks in a week

Injured students are pulled from the wreckage of a bus struck by a pickup truck in Kalasin early Wednesday. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangphet)
Injured students are pulled from the wreckage of a bus struck by a pickup truck in Kalasin early Wednesday. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangphet)

Three people were killed and 71 hurt in two Northeast bus crashes on Wednesday, bringing the number of major coach accidents to five in the past week.

In Kalasin's Yang Talat district, a tour bus packed with students and teachers was struck by a pickup truck at about 3am Wednesday after it ran a red light at the Yang Talat intersection, said Pol Lt Udomsil Nachainak, a duty officer at Somdet police station.

The impact killed pickup driver Hamad Yadam, 29. Fifty-two students and teachers on the tour bus were injured. They were rushed to a nearby hospital.

According to police investigators, the bus was carrying students from That Phanom Technology College in Nakhon Phanom on a field trip to Chon Buri.

A rescue worker looks at a damaged pickup truck after it crashed head-on with a tour bus in Kalasin in the early hours of Wednesday. (Photo by Yongyut Phupuangphet)

2 killed in Maha Sarakham

In nearby Maha Sarakham province, a pregnant woman and a monk were killed and 19 other passengers injured when the driver of an interprovincial bus lost control on a curve and the vehicle overturned in Chiang Yuen district on Wednesday morning, Thai media reported.

Police and rescue workers who went to the accident in tambon Suetao in Chiang Yuen district found the bus, which operates on the Roi Et-Khon Kaen-Udon Thani route, had overturned.

The dead victims were Sawittree Khetanant, 34, who was three months pregnant and a monk identified only as Phra Saman.

Pol Lt Col Sayant Kaewnisai, a duty officer at Chiang Yuen police station, said the bus driver, Klanarong Ruengsri, lost control of his vehicle on a curve, causing the bus to hit a road divider and overturn. Police are hunting the driver who fled after the crash.

Wednesday's crashes were just the latest in a string of fatal accidents in the past week.

On March 4, a student and a teacher were killed and 45 others hurt when another tour bus in Kalasin overturned on a curve while going down a hilly road in Somdet district.

On March 6, again in Maha Sarakham, three people were killed and nine injured when a tour bus collided head-on with a pickup truck in Kantharawichai district.

And on March 8, three people were killed and 43 others hurt in Sing Buri when a double-decker tour bus carrying local officials on a study trip plunged into a roadside ditch and overturned in Phrom Buri district.

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