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Train-car collision kills 1, second fatal railway crossing incident this week

Caitlin Ashworth

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PHOTO: Thairath

A passenger train collided with a car, killing a woman and injuring 2 others at a railway crossing in Phetchaburi’s Khao Yai district last night. Just earlier this week, a freight train smashed into a charter bus, killing 18 bus passengers and injuring another 44 at a crossing by the Khlong Kwaeng Klan railway station in the Chachoengsao province. Officials are working on how to make railway crossings safer.

At last night’s incident, police found the Toyota Vios crushed against beams supporting a bridge that was under construction. 21 year old Thitichaya Yaemkesorn was found dead inside the car. The driver, 39 year old Theerayuth Khuenta, and another passenger 33 year old Bundit Charoensap, were alive, but trapped inside the wreckage. They were extracted by rescue personnel and sent to the hospital.

The victims had just gotten off work at the Royal Plus bottled fruit juice factory in the Samut Songkhram province and were heading home when they collided with a Bangkok-Surat Thani special express train at a railway crossing. While the car was crushed, the train indicated little damage.

Police are investigating to determine the cause of the incident, but say the crossing was unguarded. In the earlier incident in the Chachoengsao province, officials say a broken crossing signal and the lack of a barrier gate to block traffic contributed to the collision.

Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob acknowledged in a previous report that the State Railways of Thailand’s budget to install railroad crossing gates has been cut. Now officials say they plan to review and install barriers at train crossings crossing to prevent future, and potentially fatal, collisions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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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.

Road deaths

Phuket woman impaled by steel rod in motorbike accident

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: CCTV footage shows the Woman impaled in a motorbike crash.

Police were called to the scene of a gruesome motorbike accident just after midnight in the Kathu area of Phuket, where a woman was impaled by a steel rod. The 34 year old woman crashed her motorbike into a concrete power pole on Wichit Songkram Rd between the Kathu Shrine and Kathu Municipality. rescue workers responded, and together with police, they arrived to find the woman still hanging from the power pole.

Khanuengnit Onoaun was driving a black and pink Honda Click motorbike and may have been speeding just before being impaled by the rod on the electric pole. Her motorbike was lying nearby the pole with significant damage to the front of the bike and the front wheel.

CCTV footage recovered from the scene suggest that the woman may have fallen asleep and crashed into the power pole. The pole had steel rods protruding from its side that utility workers use to climb when service or repairs are needed to the electrical lines, which is what impaled her when her motorbike hit the pole.

The metal rod pierced the woman’s upper chest and went all the way through her body with about 2 inches exposed on the other side of her as she hung from the pole. Rescue workers could not remove her from the steel rod at the scene of the accident safely and instead chose to cut the rod to take her off the electric pole and into an ambulance. Cutting through the steel took about 5 minutes for the rescuers.

She arrived and was admitted into Vachira Phuket Hospital with the metal rod still impaled through her chest. The hospital had no updates about the woman’s condition after her motorbike crash other than that she is alive and receiving treatment currently. The police plan on questioning her once she has had time to recover and investigating the incident further if necessary.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Road deaths

Songkran’s 7 dangerous days: 2,365 road accidents, 277 deaths

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: This year saw 30% less deaths and accidents over Songkran week.

We’ve finally reached the end of the Songkran holiday “7 dangerous days”, where over 2,300 road accidents resulted in 2,357 injuries and 277 deaths. Every year Thai officials brace for the surge in holiday travel that brings a surge in accidents as well, but the silver lining of Covid-19 is the reduction in accidents. This year saw a drop of nearly 30% from pre-Covid totals over the 2019 Songkran holiday period. Here’s the final day’s summary and the totals for the week:

DAILY FIGURES

On the final day of the Thai government’s weeklong safety campaign, there were 253 road accidents with 255 injuries and 26 deaths. The provinces with the most deaths were Ubon Ratchathani with 3 deaths, and then Chanthaburi and Phetchabun, both with 2 fatalities in each.

TOTALS

The 277 deaths and 2,357 injuries as a result of 2,365 accidents is a significant reduction from non-Covid years where road accidents and deaths were 30% higher. In 2019, the Songkran “7 dangerous days” totalled 3,338 accidents, with 3,442 injuries and 386 deaths. 2021’s muted Songkran holiday period saw about a thousand fewer accidents and injuries and over 100 fewer fatalities.

Final figures following the trends we saw daily, with 79% of all accidents involving motorbikes with 7% involving pickup trucks, a distant second. Drunk driving was the number 1 cause of road accidents with nearly 37% of all accidents involving alcohol. 28% of accidents were caused by speeding, while sudden lane changes accounted for 18% of incidents. Late afternoons from 4 pm to 8 pm had 29% of road accidents, followed by 21% of incidents that happened earlier from noon to 4 pm.

Highways were the most dangerous, with nearly 40% of accidents happening there. Community or village roads accounted for 36% of accident locations. Teenagers made up the biggest demographic of fatalities, with 15 to 19 year olds making up 15% of deaths. 30 to 39 year olds made up just over 14% of road deaths.

The deadliest provinces over the 7 dangerous days were Pathum Thani with 10 deaths, followed by Bangkok and Chiang Mai, both of which had 9 fatalities. Nakhon Si Thammarat, with 106 incidents, recorded the most road accidents of any province, followed by Chiang Mai with 77 crashes and Songkla with 69.

During the course of the road safety campaign, police and traffic authorities pulled over 2.3 million motorbikes and 100,000 other vehicles, issuing almost 460,000 citations, notably for not wearing helmets, having a driver’s license, or fastening seatbelts.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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Road deaths

Songkran’s 7 dangerous days campaign #6: 313 road accidents, 29 deaths

Neill Fronde

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FILE PHOTO: Bangkok Traffic - stay safe driving home from the Songkran holiday.

As we enter the final stretch of Songkran’s infamous “seven dangerous days”, 29 deaths were recorded and 313 road accidents across Thailand. Officials warn we are not yet through the yearly dangerous week of holiday travel that typically results in a sharp increase in traffic accidents, injuries and death. The silver lining of Covid-19 is that travel is significantly down, and so are fatalities. But as people return from their holidays back to work in their home towns, authorities warn of increased accidents. They are setting up more traffic checkpoints and sending out additional traffic officials to watch over dangerous routes in an attempt to prevent more accidents.

DAILY FIGURES

On the 6th day, the Ministry of Interior recorded 313 road accidents, with 310 injuries and 29 deaths total. In their daily press briefing, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior went over the figures and causes. Not surprisingly, nearly 89% of accidents involved motorcycles. Different from previous days, drunk driving surpassed speeding as the number 1 cause of accidents, at a nearly even 31% and 30% respectively.

Late afternoon and early evening remained the most dangerous time to be on the roads, with almost 26% of road accidents occurring between 4 pm and 8 pm. Another noticeable change from previous statistics, whereas yesterday highway accidents were nearly even to local community crashes, today 43% of accidents occurred on local roads in villages and only 31% of accidents were on national highways. Again about 62% of accidents took place on straight routes. One last statistical change: the most accident-prone demographic skewed older with 30-somethings being overtaken by 40 to 49 year olds as the primary accident age bracket, about 16%.

Nakhon Sri Thammarat, with 15 road accidents yesterday, held the morbid distinction of the province with the most accidents, a title it has held several times. Prachin Buri had the most injuries yesterday with 15 reported. And 5 provinces tied for most fatalities with 2 each: Chiang Mai, Kanchanaburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nong Khao, and Rayong.

TOTALS

As we near the end of the “seven dangerous days”, Thailand has recorded a total of 2,113 road accidents so far during this week. 2,116 people were reported to have been injured, while there were a total of 238 fatalities.

Nakhon Sri Thammarat has retained its lead, being the province with both the most accidents reported – 91 in total – and the highest number of injuries – 96 total. Chiang Mai is now the most deadly province, with 9 total road fatalities over the past 6 days.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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