North EastRoad deathsThailand

Man to join monkhood after surviving mini bus accident that claimed 11 victims

A 20 year old man who survived a mini bus accident on the Friendship Highway in the Isaan province of Nakhon Ratchasima is planning to join the monkhood to pray for the 11 victims who were killed in the accident.

The white mini bus, which was travelling from Amnart Charoen to Bangkok, overturned and caught fire at 9.30pm last Saturday, January 21, on the Friendship Highway in the Si Khiw district of Nakhon Ratchasima.

The firefighters and rescue teams rushed to the scene but could not save the victims. One driver and 10 passengers were killed. They were trapped inside the car and burned to death in the subsequent blaze. The youngest victim was only six years old.

Only one man, who was later identified as 20 year old Thanachit Kingkaeo, survived the accident. He smashed one of the mini bus windows and climbed out only a few minutes before the vehicle exploded into a ball of fire.

Thanachit gave an interview to Thairath yesterday. He explained that he took the mini bus from his house in Amnart Charoen. He sat in the middle of the bus and slept all the way. Thanachit said…

“I heard a loud noise like a mini bus hitting something and scraping along the traffic barrier. Then, I woke up and found that the bus overturned. I heard people screaming and crying for help. I decided to kick the window and get out. Everything happened so fast. I did not have time to help others.”

Thanachit added that he felt sorry for what happened and planned to become a monk to pray and make merit for all the victims.

Officers spent over one hour controlling the blaze. The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The Nakhon Ratchasima Transport Office released some details on the investigation, saying that the mini bus was travelling at 82 kilometres per hour when the accident happened. The bus and its driver were legally registered according to the land traffic law.

The superintendent of Si Khiw Police Station, Yongyot Phonladate, reported that the cause of the accident could have been recklessness, drowsy driving, or speeding. Yongyot said he would check CCTV cameras along the routes and question witnesses more to conclude the case.

A rescuer, Nikhom Sae-aoon, explained that he was on day duty at the checkpoint nearby the scene and made known that accidents always happened at this spot because the road is in poor condition and there is a lack of traffic lights.

Thanachit’s mother informed the media that the driver and passengers all lived nearby.

“People in the community know each other and were familiar with the driver. The driver was a very good driver. He did not drink alcohol or drive fast.”

According to the Office of Insurance Commission, the motor act would compensate victims’ relatives at 1.1 million baht each. The driver’s relative would get less compensation, at 135,000 baht, if the accident’s cause was proved to be recklessness.

 

Man survived mini bus accident that killed 11 victims
The 20 year old man who survived the accident | Photo via Facebook/ เพื่อนกัน ณ บ่อวิน

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Petch Petpailin

Petpailin, or Petch, is a Thai translator and writer for The Thaiger focusing on Thai news and what's happening in Thailand. She is a news writer who stops reading news on the weekends to spend more time cafe hopping and petting dwarf shrimp.