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UPDATE: Broken railway crossing signal contributed to fatal bus-train collision east of Bangkok

Caitlin Ashworth



PHOTO: Facebook: @pr8riew

A broken crossing signal led to the fatal collision yesterday, where a freight train smashed into a charter bus, killing 18 bus passengers and injuring another 44. Officials from the department as well as the State Railway of Thailand governor visited the site after the accident and say the broken crossing signal “contributed to the fatal incident”.

The bus was carrying dozens of factory workers to a Buddhist merit-making ceremony when it crossed the railway track and was struck, at speed, by the freight train. The bus appears to be meandering across the crossing, oblivious to the approaching locomotive when the train smashes into the front of the bus, swinging it around and dragging it along the track, stripping off the roof of the bus, until it fell onto its side.

The crossing by the Khlong Kwaeng Klan railway station in the Chachoengsao province, about 50 kilometres east of Bangkok, also had no boom gate to block traffic from crossing, another factor in the cause of the incident, according to the department. Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob acknowledged that the State Railways of Thailand’s budget to install railroad crossing gates has been cut.

In an earlier report, the provincial governor Maitree Tritilanond said the crossing has an alarm, but there was no barrier to block traffic when a train is coming. Whether or not the alarm or warning for the approaching train was working, has not yet been clarified.

“The province will install speed bumps and barriers as well as cut down trees near the crossing to improve visibility. Let this case be a lesson, and we will make improvements at risky spots so such accidents will not take place again.”

Video of the horrific incident will be part of today’s Thailand News Today (uploaded at 5pm Thai time).

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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  1. Avatar


    Monday, October 12, 2020 at 3:07 pm

    The Driver and Driver only was at fault.. Who crosses train tracks and Does NOT look if a train is coming.

    • Avatar


      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 3:13 pm

      It’s hard to hear the train when you have music flat out you can’t concentrate

      • Avatar


        Wednesday, October 14, 2020 at 1:10 am

        Yes but you’d also have to be “blind” not to stop and LOOK before crossing.

    • Avatar


      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7:34 pm

      Yes,the driver is ultimately responsible for when and where the bus goes.

    • Avatar


      Monday, October 12, 2020 at 8:04 pm


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Caitlin Ashworth is a writer from the United States who has lived in Thailand since 2018. She graduated from the University of South Florida St. Petersburg with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and media studies in 2016. She was a reporter for the Daily Hampshire Gazette In Massachusetts. She also interned at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia and Sarasota Herald-Tribune in Florida.

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