Train Wreck Kills Eight, Injures 59
May. 24, 1989
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) _ Soldiers on Wednesday worked to clear the wreckage of a speeding passenger train that derailed, killing eight people and injuring 59 when six of its cars tumbled into a ravine, officials said.
The 15-car train derailed Tuesday night in northern Thailand as it rounded a bend at 47 mph, but should have been traveling no faster than 28 mph, said Phairot Rotjalermngam, spokesman for the State Railways of Thailand.
The train was heading from Chiang Mai to Bangkok when the accident occurred in Phrae province, about 300 miles north of Bangkok.
Tourists from Australia, the Netherlands, Singapore and Malaysia were among those reported hurt. The Chiang Mai-Bangkok train is usually packed and is often taken by foreign tourists.
Stephen Larter and his girlfriend, Karen Hewitt, both of Australia, said they were injured when their car fell into the ravine.
''I felt a crunch and then the carriage rolled and people just flew,'' said Miss Hewitt, 24. ''I ended up sitting on a fan on the roof and there were people underneath me.''
Three of the cars were piled on top of each other, trapping passengers, she said.
''It was pitch black and we couldn't see anything,'' said Larter, 29. ''The thing we were most worried about was being hit by another train, as we didn't realize we were right at the bottom of the ravine.''
It was two hours before rescue teams reached the thickly forested area, he said. Villagers brought candles, food and medicine.
Soldiers of the 3rd Army Region helped move some of the wreckage.