Thailand: Tour bus plunge into ravine in Phitsanulok kills 5 (inc a baby), injures 53 – 080313 1105z

Five people died and 53 others injured when a tour bus travelling from Udon Thani to Chiang Mai plunged down a roadside cliff in Phitsanulok early Monday, police said.

The bus, with the Udon Thani licence plate No 30-0365, belonged to Jakkrapong Tour company.
Pol Capt Saneh Promrat, duty officer at Nakhon Thai police station, said the vehicle was heading to Chiang Mai,about 650 kilometres north of Bangkok.
The driver lost control and it plunged down a roadside cliff on the Nakhon Thai – Dan Sai road in Phitsanulok’s Nakhon Thai district about 2am.
One of the five people who died was a foreign woman tourist named as Marain Sofie, 21, a Belgian national. The four others were Thais – two women, one man named as Pornsak Sawekwong, 33, and a baby boy, Chaimongkol Charoensaen, aged seven months.
Thirty-nine of the injured were taken to Dan Sai hospital and 11 others were taken to Nakhon Thai Crown Prince hospital.
One of the injured passengers is a foreign woman tourist named as Magdalena Jaworska, who is four months pregnant.
The bus driver is among the injured. Police have not yet released his name.
Rescue units took over two hours to extricate the bus passengers from the mangled wreckage at the bottom of the ravine and send them to hospitals.
Pol Capt Saneh said the cause of the fatal accident was being investigated. It was possible the tour bus had a brake problem.
Monday, 08 April, 2013 at 06:59 (06:59 AM) UTC RSOE

Extract from bangkokpost.com:

5 die, 53 hurt in bus cliff plunge

“…”The bus had problems with its brakes and was speeding before it crashed over the cliff,”Pol Capt Sanehsaid.

Passengers had smelled something burning and the driver, who is also in a critical condition, had stopped to try and fix the problem before the crash, he said.”

 

Photos by Chinawat Singha

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