Col Jeerawat Prayoonsub, a duty office of Udomsub Police Station, told INN news agency that the double-decker bus driver lost control and ran off the road after the collision. The bus overturned and was largely demolished.
He said the cause of the collision was under investigation. It appeared the bus driver crossed the highway median at a traffic island, and hit the 18-wheeled trailer-truck almost head on, while travelling at speed.
Both vehicles veered off the road into trees.
The bus was descending a hill on winding Highway 304 in tambon Udomsap of Wang Nam Khiao district, near Khao Yai National Park. The truck, travelling in the opposite direction, was struggling up the slope.
The bus was carrying 50 passengers back to Sakon Nakhon from an outing to Chanthaburi when the accident occurred, he added.
At least 15 of those aboard the bus died at the scene. Four others succumbed at hospitals, while “about 35 others” were injured and being treated in four area hospitals, according to the police.
Their medical conditions were not immediately known.
The driver of the bus survived and will be interrogated, according to Col Jeerawat.
The disaster prevention and mitigation office in Nakhon Ratchasima said the accident occurred at 7:30pm.
The injured were sent to Wang Nam Khiao, Maharat, Bangkok Nakhon Ratchasima and Suranari University of Technology hospitals, it added.
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