AMONG the relatives watching over 10 of 42 people still hospitalized after yesterday’s horror train and bus collision that killed 18 travellers is a five-year-old girl who came with her grandfather to be with her dad who is in the intensive care unit, Thai Rath newspaper reported today (Oct. 12, 2020).
Mr. Vej Phukongpha, the grandfather of five-year-old Mink and father of the critically injured man, Mr. Jakkaphong Phukongpha, 27, said he did not dare yet tell the little girl that her mother, Ms. Melada Phukongpha, died in the crash at a level crossing in Chachoengsao province yesterday, even though she did ask about her.
Vej added that he rushed to Chacheongsao’s Buddhasothorn Hospital with his granddaughter from Kalasin province after hearing of his son’s critical injury and death of his daughter-in-law. He had to bring the girl along because there is no one at home to take care of her.
He would like his son to be transferred to a hospital in Kalasin province once his condition improves. Three of the 10 still undergoing medical treatment are in the ICU.
Meanwhile, at Chachoengsao City Hall Mr. Sarayut Kaewkulprecha held an urgent meeting with relevant units to get a detailed report about yesterday’s deadly collision and work out ways to prevent this sort of an accident from occurring again while also resolving problems at level crossings.
A bus taking factory workers from Samut Prakan to Chachoengsao province for a religious ceremony at a temple there was completely smashed by a train at 9.30 a.m. yesterday morning, killing the 18 travellers and injuring 42 others.
It was reported that 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 and this led to the train smashing into the bus.
Top: Vej with his granddaughter Mink at the hospital today.
Below: Mrs. Chantarat Trithilanan, president of Thai Red Cross Chachoengsao chapter, and her team visiting the crash victims at the hospital today. Photos: Thai Rath