At least 18 people were killed and more than 40 injured in Thailand when a freight train crashed into a bus taking passengers to a religious ceremony, officials said.
The morning collision, around 50km east of the capital Bangkok, toppled the bus on its side and sheared off part of its roof.
There were some 60 passengers in the chartered bus travelling from neighbouring Samut Prakan province to a temple in Chachoengsao.
They were planning to offer yellow robes to monks – a traditional ceremony held within a month of the end of Buddhist Lent, a provincial spokesperson told reporters.
Thai premier Prayut Chan-O-Cha gave his condolences and instructed authorities to investigate the cause of the crash, a government spokesman said in a statement.
Such deadly accidents are common in Thailand, which regularly tops lists of the world’s most lethal roads, with speeding, drunk driving and weak law enforcement all contributing factors.
Thailand has the second-highest traffic fatality rate in the world, according to a 2018 World Health Organization report.
Though a majority of the victims are motorcyclists, bus crashes involving groups of tourists and migrant labourers often grab headlines.
In March 2018, at least 18 people were killed and dozens wounded when a bus carrying people returning from holiday in northeastern Thailand swerved off the road and smashed into a tree.
Travel throughout the kingdom has been thrown into disarray this weekend by a big storm hitting the region, leaving roads in poor conditions and some provinces deluged in shin-high floods.