18 dead as Thai tour bus loses control, crashes off road

BANGKOK (AP) — A chartered tour bus lost control on a downhill curve in Thailand’s northeast and slid off the side of the road, killing at least 18 people and injuring dozens more, reports said.

In addition to the dead, another 33 passengers were hurt in Wednesday night’s accident in Nakhon Ratchasima province, Thai PBS television reported.

The station cited a survivor as saying a youngster from the back of the bus had yelled that the brakes were broken as the vehicle began to swerve. The bus then crossed over the highway median into oncoming traffic before falling on its side and sweeping into several roadside stalls.

The report said the bus was badly mangled and many passengers were trapped inside.

Thailand has the second-highest rate of traffic fatalities in the world after Libya, according to World Health Organization statistics.

In a second accident before dawn Thursday, a bus carrying 50 people on a school trip in the central province of Ayutthaya skidded in the rain, flipped over and hit a roadside rest stop, Thai PBS reported. The accident injured 39 people.