Region 3 Provincial Police Bureau commissioner Pol Lt-Gen Damrongsak Kittiprapat has ordered the setting up of a police panel to interview witnesses and injured victims of the fatal road accident involving a double-decker bus to find out more details about the incident which may bring about additional charges against the bus driver.
The bus driver, Mr Krisana Chuthachuen, has, so far, been charged with reckless driving causing deaths and injuries to the other people, speeding beyond permissible limit, using drug while driving and not offering help to the injured. He was taken to the Nakhon Ratchasima provincial court last Friday by the police to seek court’s order to detain him for another 12 days pending further questioning of witnesses.
Eighteen passengers of a tour group from Kalasin were killed and 30 others injured when the double-decker bus lost control as it was descending downhill on a road in Wang Nam Khiao district in Nakhon Ratchasima due to brake failure as it was taking the passengers back home in Kalasin. The speeding bus jumped over concrete road barrier and slammed into a huge roadside tree.
One of the injured passengers who survived the fatal accident told relatives from her hospital bed that the driver jumped out of the bus through an emergency door at the back of the bus before it crashed into the tree.
Pol Lt-Gen Damrongsak said that police had coordinated with land transport office in Kalasin to extensively examine the ill-fated double-decker bus to find out whether the vehilcle has more defects besides malfunctioned brake in order that more charges could be brought against the bus operator.
Kalasin governor Kraisorn Kongchalard attended the cremation ceremony of five bus victims held at Wat Dongkrayom-udomkhun in Tambon Thai Po, Muang district on Sunday.
The governor said he had instructed the insurance promotion and regulation office to speed up disbursing insurance money amounting to 650,000 to the families of each of the 18 dead victims.
At the same time, he said health officials had been told to provide counselling to the families of dead victims.
Six injured passengers are still hospitalized at two hospitals in Nakhon Ratchasima.