22 Buddhist pilgrims die in bus plunge in Lampang, Thailand

Associated Press, 24 October, 2013

Bangkok, Thailand -- A bus carrying worshippers home from a temple at the end of Buddhist lent plunged into a ravine in northern Thailand, killing 22 passengers.

<< Police inspect the wreckage of the bus in which 22 mainly elderly Buddhist worshippers were killed. Sixteen others were injured. Photo: AFP

The bus driver lost control of the bus before it fell 30 metres into the ravine on a winding rural road in Wang Nuea district in Lampang province on Wednesday. The driver was among 16 people injured.

The travellers had visited the temple to make merit, a Buddhist ritual of performing good deeds or other acts. Most of those killed were elderly women.

Lampang is a mountainous area 600 kilometres north of Bangkok.

Up to 26,000 people are killed in road accidents every year in Thailand. The country has 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.