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Death Toll Jumps to 20 in Chachoengsao Bus-Train Wreck

The death toll from this morning’s collision between a freight train and tour bus in Chachoengsao rose to 20 with more than 30 others hurt.

Authorities are blaming the impatient and reckless driver of the bus for rolling across a grade crossing in Bang Toey Subdistrict of the eastern province’s Muang District before lights and bells stopping sounding.

While the driver initially stopped at the crossing  – which has no barrier – he rolled over the tracks after it passed not realizing a second train was close behind.

That train plowed into the side of the bus carrying about 60 people from Samut Prakan to Wat Bang Pla Nak in Chachoengsao for a merit-making ceremony, knocking it on its side and pushing it down the tracks.

Bodies were scattered along the tracks as rescue workers raced to pull the injured from the damaged coach. Seventeen people died at the scene with three more deaths reported at a local hospital.