11 killed in burning van after clash

11 killed in burning van after clash

NAKHON RATCHASIMA: Eleven people, including the driver, were burned to death after an LNG-powered van crashed into the ditch in the median strip of the Mitrapap highway and went up in flames on Saturday night.

The accident took place at about 9.30pm on the Bangkok-bound side of the highway in Si Khiu district.

From an initial police investigation, the Amnat Charoen-registered Toyota van, with the driver and 11 passengers on board were from Amnat Charoen, heading for Nakhon Pathom province.

While between kilometre markers 99-100, the van veered sideways, rammed into the metal railing and crashed into the ditch of the median strip. The LNG-powered van then went up in flames.

Nikom Sae Oun, leader of the Hook 31 rescue unit at Mo Chabok in Si Khiu district near the spot, said after hearing a loud explosion he rushed to take a look and found the van was totally engulfed by a fire. A passenger, a 17-year-old boy, was seen slipping out of the van.

A fire truck soon arrived and put out the fire shortly afterward. But 11 people, including the driver, were all burned to death in the van.

The boy who managed to narrowly escape death was the only survivor. He was admitted to Si Khiu Hospital.

Governor Saksayam Sirimongkol was at the scene after the accident for inspection. He later went to the hospital to visit the boy who survived.

Police were investigating to establish the cause of the accident.