School bus crash, forty-six injured

Rescue workers help injured students and teachers from an overturned tour bus in Chaiyaphum's Khon Sawan district late Friday night. (Photo by Makkawan Wannakul)

CHAIYAPHUM – Forty-six people, including 42 students and two teachers, were slightly hurt when a tour bus they were travelling in plunged into a ditch dividing a road in Khon Sawan district late Friday night.

The bus, carrying Mathayom Suksa 1 and 3 (Grade 7 and 9) students and teachers of Khok Muang Suksa School in Khon Kaen’s Chum Phae district, were on the way back after paying respects to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Grand Palace.

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When the bus arrived at kilometre marker 147-149 of Highway No.201 in tambon Huay Rai in Khon Sawan district, the driver lost control at the curve and plunged into the ditch before overturning at around 11.45pm on Friday, said police.

All 42 students, two teachers, the driver and a bus assistant, were injured and rushed to nearby hospitals, said police. Most sustained minor injuries.

Raewadeesiri Onrak, a teacher on board the bus, said she and the students were sleeping when the accident occurred. Suddenly, she heard the sound of the crash and the bus plunged into the ditch. Many students cried with pain. Luckily, there were no losses of lives.

Driver Somkiart Matthaweewong, 54, told police that he heard something like a brake chamber explosion when the bus arrived at the curve. He tried in vain to apply the brakes before losing control of the vehicle.

The bus then plunged into the ditch, said Pol Capt Somkhid Khomkhunthod, a deputy investigation chief at Khon Sawan police station.

The officer will investigate into the cause.

A tour bus, carrying 42 students and two teachers, plunges into a ditch dividing a road in Khon Sawan district, Chaiyaphum. All on board the vehicle, including the driver and a bus assistant, sustained injuries. Most were slightly hurt. (Photo by Makkawan Wannakul)