Insurance firm to pay Lampang crash victims
Compensation covers Bt200,000 per deceased passenger, Bt50,000 per injured
A total of Bt5 million will be paid as compensation by the insurance company to victims of a double-decker bus accident on Wednesday night in Lampang's Wang Nua district, in which 21 people were killed and 17 others injured.
Somboon Charoensuk, an official of Sahamongkol Insurance Co's Phayao branch, inspected the accident site yesterday and met Wang Nua police investigators to seek details of the accident, including information about the deceased and the wounded. He revealed that the bus company, Weerapan Tour and Travel Limited Partnership, had insured its passengers with his company, and hence it would pay Bt200,000 per deceased victim and cover Bt50,000 medical bills of each of the injured victims.
The victims' relatives can bring death certificates and other documents to claim the insurance money at Sahamongkol Insurance Co's Chiang Mai branch, he said, adding that they should get the money within a week.
Meanwhile, Chiang Mai Governor Wichien Phuthiwinyu, after meeting officials at a coordination centre for accident victims in Saraphi district's Chom Phu subdistrict, said the insurance firm should provide between Bt100,000 and Bt300,000 for each of the deceased plus Bt50,000 in funeral assistance funds.
Chiang Mai Transport Office chief Chanchai Kilapaeng said the bus had undergone a maintenance check on September 30, which found that its systems, including brakes, were working normally. As of press time, police were inspecting the abyss near the entrance of the Than Thong waterfall that the bus plunged into after the driver lost control. The ill-fated bus was part of a convoy of three buses transporting pilgrims. Police investigators believe malfunctioning brakes could have been responsible for the accident.
Buachan Saimanee, who arrived at the scene to collect the bodies of her sister Pathum Chiangda, 55, and niece Wiranpat, 30, said she was also travelling with them but was on a different bus. She said the buses had left Chiang Mai early on Wednesday morning to join a robe-offering ceremony at Wat Mai Samakkhee in Wang Nua before visiting another temple and Phayao Lake before heading back to Chiang Mai.
She said the ill-fated bus had encountered brake problems and had pulled over, so the other two buses in the convoy overtook it. It was only later that they heard the bus had had an accident.
Separately, another accident in Roi Et's Kaset Wisai district yesterday saw two deaths and 35 injuries. The accident took place at 4am on Payak Phumpisai-Kaset Wisai Road in Nam Om subdistrict, when the bus overturned before crashing into a ditch. Police believe the driver, who fled the scene, might have dozed off. The bus had 41 passengers and was heading for Ubon Ratchathani.