A BUS taking factory workers from Samut Prakan to Chacheongsao province for a religious ceremony at a temple there was completely smashed by a train at 9.30 a.m. this morning leaving 17 people dead and estimated 29 to 30 injured with officials still trying to get some of the bodies out of the wreck, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Oct. 11, 2020).
Police have blocked off the accident site, a level crossing near Kwaeng Klan railway station, Bang Toei subdistrict, Mueang district, as rescuers continue the arduous task of getting the bodies out from the wreck and identifying them. Some are still stuck in the smashed truck while others lie beneath the front section of the train.
Police said that the workers had left the Samrong area in Samut Prakan province early in the morning to go to this temple for a Thod Kathin ceremony.
As they got close to the temple, the bus driver, who is among those who have died, and who was not familiar with the route, sped across the level crossing.
The approaching train gave a sharp hoot, but the bus driver did not hear it. This led to the train smashing the bus which after the first hit, spun around and was hit again, the force of which crushed and overturned it.
The traditional Buddhist Thod Kathin festival is celebrated in Thailand and other Buddhist countries every October to mark the end of monks’ retreat at local temples. The name of Thod Kathin means laying down new robes to the monks. Colourful parades and offering ceremonies are held with other gifts to the monks including basic utensils, toiletries, writing materials and food.
The blocked off crash site where police and rescuers are still collecting the dead bodies. Photos: Thai Rath