BANGKOK: Eight people were killed today when a freight train hit a pick-up truck trying to cross the tracks in central Thailand, the kingdom’s railway agency said.
The crash took place around 2.20am at an unauthorised crossing in Chachoengsao province, east of Bangkok, the State Railway of Thailand said in a statement.
The train driver had sounded his warning horn as he approached the crossing but was unable to stop before hitting the truck, which was transporting fish, the statement said.
“The train driver followed the protocol by sounding the alarm three times, but the close proximity made it difficult for the driver to stop the train in time,” the statement added.
Eight people – five men and three women – died in the collision.
Four more were injured, one of whom is in hospital in a critical condition.
A 20-year-old survivor who leapt out of the pick-up just before the crash explained that they thought the vehicle could make it over the crossing, but then saw the train only a few metres away.
Deadly accidents are common in Thailand, which regularly tops lists of the world’s most lethal roads, with speeding, drunk driving and weak law enforcement all contributing factors.
In October 2020, 18 people were killed when a freight train crashed into a bus taking passengers to a religious ceremony.