May 27, 2024

AFP, BANGKOK:  A double-decker coach smashed into a tree in southern Thailand, killing at least 14 people and injuring 32, police said Tuesday.

The long-distance bus was travelling from Bangkok to the kingdom’s far south when it collided with the tree in coastal Prachuap Khiri Khan province on Monday night.

Photos published in local media showed the front part of the bus split in two by the force of the crash, with the tree still wedged in the middle.

“From a preliminary investigation, 14 people died and 32 people were injured,” Arnon Tangto, a police investigator in Huay Yang district in Prachuap Khiri Khan told AFP, saying a probe is under way.

He said the cause of the accident has not been confirmed, but police suspect the driver — who was badly injured but survived — may not have had enough sleep.

“We are collaborating with the hospital to check his blood alcohol level,” said Arnon.

The police are still investigating whether the dead were all Thai.

Thailand has one of the highest road accident rates in the world with around 20,000 people killed every year, according to the World Health Organization.

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