CHAIYAPHUM, 3 June 2014 – 14 people, most of whom were Vietnamese students, were killed on Monday in an accident involving a van and an 18-wheel truck in Chaiyaphum.
The accident took place on Highway no. 201, on the segment between Kangkhro and Phu Khiew districts of Chaiyaphum. Authorities and rescue workers suspected the driver of the van had fallen asleep at the wheel when the van veered away from its lane into oncoming traffic. After colliding head-on with an oncoming 18 wheeler, the van burst into flames.
The Toyota van involved in the accident had been rented by a large group of Vietnamese students who were studying in Bangkok but were headed to Nong Bua Lamphu for a seminar. The van was one of five vans hired to transport the Vietnamese students from Bangkok to Nong Bua Lamphu.
All bodies retrieved from the van were severely burnt, to the extent that rescue workers were unable to tell the sex of one of the victims. 13 of the deceased were Vietnamese, whereas the dead Thai national was the van’s driver. The two surviving passengers suffered severe burns; one, a male, is no longer in critical condition.
The charred bodies have been taken to Khon Kaen provincial hospital for identification through DNA testing.