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Brake system failure blamed for fatal incident in Khon Kaen



Stock photo via Flickr

Checking your brakes regularly is something that could save you from a fatal accident, yet a lack of routine maintenance seems popular when it comes to accidents. The latest victims from a brake system failure, include 5 fatalities and 12 injuries after a bus in northeastern Thailand’s Khon Kaen province crashed.

The horrible accident happened last Tuesday at about 12:30am on Mitraphap Highway near Nong Kham in tambon Non Sombun. A double-decker bus headed towards Bangkok, erupted in flames with survivors saying a back tyre burst and caught fire. The, the fire spread to the engine area which then saw the bus burst into flames.

A Department of Land Transport accident investigation report says the brake system failed, overheated and caused the tyre to explode. Hot rubber pieces then landed on the valve of an NGV cylinder causing a gas leak.

The bus’ driver, 48 year old Patsadee Kham-on, is being charged with reckless driving causing death and injuries, for assumingly not checking the vehicle’s brakes before setting off. The Khon Kaen governor says the provincial land transport office has also fined the bus owner, 407 Pattana Tou Co, for using a sub-standard bus.

In November of last year, a cement truck driver in Banglamung, blamed faulty brakes for not being able to stop the truck, resulting in it running off the road and flipping. The 61 year old driver, luckily, made it out with only minor injuries. Sadly, this type of accident is quite common and likely will grace the news again, if routine maintenance is ignored.

According to website, “Checking your brakes at least every year will give you advanced warning on brake pad breakdown. Putting off the less costly pad change can lead to much more expensive brake rotor repairs and even failure when driving. A major component in the Thai driving test is gauging how quickly you can slam on your brakes….for good reason.”

Thailand conducts routine checks on public transportation vehicles, with the news usually not being up to par with what one would expect when paying to be transported. The Department of Land Transport just 2 years ago, in one of its annual checks, revealed 1 in 7 public transport vehicles failed the inspection checks.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post


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  1. Ian Jones

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 3:57 pm

    In probably all western countries you have to do a yearly inspection of your car, if it doesn’t pass well then you can’t drive it until you fixed the problems and did the inspection again. Some countries have grace period for brand new cars.

    For commercial vehicles the inspection is harder and comes with hefty fines if not passed and still driven.

    Does anything like this exist in Thailand? If it does, you can probably make any scrapheap to car pass for a few hundred bath…

  2. Jeff

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 8:06 pm

    Dear Ann,
    Stop being and enabler. There is no such thing as an accident, they are incidents. Other than acts of nature, everything else could, at some point, been prevented. Accident infers that something unavoidable happened and that it couldn’t have been prevented. Incidents are what all these things are…you can always trace back to a human fault, whether in design, maintenance or operation. No such things as accidents. I challenge anyone to come up with a bona-fide “accident”. Think about it.

  3. Wayno

    Friday, April 16, 2021 at 11:23 pm

    It is a bit rough to charge the driver for a brake malfunction that would likely have only been apparent if crawling under the coach with a torch. Sounds like from the report that a brake had partially seized on causing a massive heat build up leading to a tyre blow out.

  4. Shemozzel

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 7:59 am

    Ian Jones, not in Australia. I could drive my car for 50 years without an inspection unless i want to sell it.
    Jeff, you’re technically correct but who cares. Poor old Ann is hardly an enabler for calling it an accident. Do you think if she called it an incident that errant vehicle owners would all of a sudden think “You know what, she’s right, I should take more responsibility.” Fat chance.

  5. BJoe

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    The fault lies not with the driver, but with the bus company owners responsible for having professional mechanics periodically check and servicr their vehicles. How is the driver responsible for the maintenance of the company’s fleet ?

  6. Mr cynic

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Most vehicles have a warning light that comes on if the brake system develops a would be very unusual for any recentish public transport vehicle not to have such a warning system.if fitted and the light came on whilst driving and he decided to continue his journey he would be responsible for the incident and not the maintenance people.

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Ann Carter is an award-winning journalist from the United States with over 12 years experience in print and broadcast news. Her work has been featured in America, China and Thailand as she has worked internationally at major news stations as a writer and producer. Carter graduated from the Walter Williams Missouri School of Journalism in the USA.

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