Thailand’s Transport Minister, Saksayam Chidchob, has ordered the State Railway of Thailand and the Department of Rail Transport to install signal systems and barriers at all railway crossings throughout the country, to prevent a repeat of the train-bus collision in Chachoengsao province on Saturday, which resulted in multiple fatalities and over 30 injured.
Seventeen people, including six Myanmar migrant workers, were killed when a chartered bus, carrying about 60 merit makers on their way from Samut Prakan to perform a Thod Kathin ceremony at a temple in Chachoengsao province, was struck by a freight train as it was passing over a dual track railway crossing.
It is reported that the railway crossing does not have a barrier or a signal system.
Mr. Saksayam said today (Monday) that the crossing in question has not been formally registered and, therefore, has no barrier or signal system, adding that he has instructed both the SRT and the Department of Rail Transport to find out how many of this kind of railway crossing are still operational and whether they are still needed.
If they are necessary, he said such they will be properly equipped with signaling systems and barriers and, if not, they will be closed.
Meanwhile, workers from the Bang Toey Tambon Administration Organisation have started clearing bushes near the railway crossing, which block motorists’ line of sight to trains approaching from either direction.
Mr. Prathuang Yookasem, the Muang district Chief Officer, said that a signalling system and barrier will be installed at the crossing as quickly as possible, adding that officials are checking whether there are any more such crossings in the district.
A relative of one of the dead victims, Mr. Danusorn Kammoonna, has called on the SRT to show responsibility over the tragic incident, citing the complete lack of safety measures at the crossing. He said, however, that he does not plan to sue the SRT for compensation.
The SRT will perform a merit-making ceremony for the dead victims at the scene of the accident this Sunday.