(Updates casualties, adds information)
Bangkok, Oct 11 (EFE).- Eighteen people were killed and 44 were injured after a train collided with a bus in central Thailand on Sunday morning , emergency service personnel told Efe.
The accident happened at around 8am local time at Khlong Kwaeng Klan station in Chachoengsao Province, about 50 kilometers east of the capital city Bangkok, when a train crashed into a bus carrying 60 factory workers who were heading to a ceremony at a temple to mark the end of Buddhist lent.
A member of the search and rescue crew at the scene told Efe that after hours of operations that required a crane to lift the bus off the rail tracks, workers were able to recover all of the bodies from the wreckage of the bus, while survivors were transferred to nearby hospitals.
According to local newspaper Bang Pakong News, there is no barrier at the level crossing, and the bus driver failed to react to the train’s warning horn.
Footage from the scene shows the bus – with its roof torn open and the whole front section smashed – lying on its side across the tracks.
Heavy construction vehicles were deployed to lift the vehicle off the railway lines.
The bus driver has been confirmed as one of the fatalities.
Fatal traffic accidents are common in Thailand, although the vast majority of deadly crashes involve the road’s most vulnerable users – pedestrians and motorcyclists.
According to the World Health Organisation’s Third Global Status Report on Road Safety in 2018, Thailand has the second-highest road traffic death rate in the world. Only the conflict-ridden North African country of Libya fared worse.