In a black day on Thai roads yesterday, 10 people died and 52 were hurt, many seriously, in just two multi-car pile-ups.
The first accident involved 18 cars on Mittaparb Road in Saraburi province and killed three people and injured some 20 others. A second accident in Ayutthaya killed seven and |injured 12 others.
The Mittaparb Road accident took place in front of the TPI cement factory on the inbound road in Kaeng Khoi district at about 1.30am.
According to police, the trailer of a speeding truck came loose from its coupling, causing it to disconnect. The cars following were unable to stop and slammed into the trailer.
A total of 18 vehicles – including pickups and minivans – were involved. Three people were killed instantly – two van passengers, Patchanee Pimhinkong, 13, Chai Phaengcharee, 56, and an unnamed woman in a pickup truck – while some 20 injured were sent to Kaeng Khoi and Saraburi Hospitals.
Police had to seal off the road to make possible the transfer of the dead and injured.
They arrested the trailer truck driver, Chaiporn Bamrab, 64.
Meanwhile, seven people were killed and 12 others injured when a pickup truck carrying illegal Burmese migrant workers veered off the road and plunged into a roadside irrigation canal in Ayutthaya’s Ban Phraek district, according to local police.
The accident left five women and two men dead, including the driver, Suwicharn Boonmen from Sukhothai, as well as injuring 12 other migrant workers sitting in the open back of the vehicle, Ban Phraek police said.
Rescue workers spent two hours retrieving the Sukhothai-registered vehicle from the four-metre-deep canal.
Most of the victims were identified as Burmese migrant workers.
Preliminary investigations have revealed that the vehicle was bringing the workers from Mae Sot, in the Thai-Burmese border province of Tak, and was heading for the central province of Lop Buri via the Asian Highway.
As he approached Ang Thong province, the driver saw a police checkpoint and tried to avoid a search, speeding away and using a Ban Phraek district road as a shortcut.
Police said the driver might not have been familiar with the narrow road. He lost control and veered into the canal.