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Thai bus plunges off ravine

24 October 2013, 08:34

Bangkok - A tour bus carrying elderly Buddhist devotees plunged into a ravine in northern Thailand on Wednesday, leaving at least 20 people dead and 16 injured, police said.

The victims were returning from a religious ceremony when the vehicle left the road, police spokesperson Somdet Tosporn told AFP by telephone from Lampang province.

"The bus fell into a ravine about 10m deep," he said. "I can't confirm the cause but the road is curvy."

No foreigners were believed to be on board.

Deadly road accidents are common in Thailand.

A recent report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the country saw some 38.1 road deaths per 100 000 of population, compared to an average of 18.5 in Southeast Asia as a whole.

Earlier this month 16 people, including a pregnant woman, were killed when the truck they were travelling in slammed into a tree in northeast Thailand.

In July at least 19 people were killed when a double-decker coach collided with a truck in central Thailand and burst into flames.

In April at least five people were killed, including a 7-month-old baby, and 53 were injured when a Thai tour bus plummeted off a hillside in the northern province of Phitsanulok after its brakes failed.


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