3-way traffic accident kills 14, injures 25 in Myanmar
BANGKOK (AP) — A 3-way accident involving two buses and a parked truck killed 14 people and injured at least 25 in central Myanmar, rescue workers said Thursday.
One of the buses was completely destroyed, said rescue worker Thet Win, and it was difficult to extricate the bodies of both bus drivers because of the damage.
A rescue team member from the Sugatishin free funeral service said 11 people were dead at the scene, while the others died at the Kyaukpadaung township hospital. Three of the dead were women, one of whom was a Buddhist nun, said the worker who asked for anonymity because he feared the authorities might punish him for speaking to the media.
He added that four of the injured people were in critical condition and sent on to other, better-equipped government hospitals.
The accident took place around 8:30 p.m. Wednesday in Kyaukpadaung township about 150 kilometers (100 miles) southwest of the country’s second-largest city of Mandalay.
Road traffic fatality rates per 100,000 population are as much as three times higher in low-income countries such as Myanmar than they are in high-income countries, according to statistics from the World Health Organization.
Wednesday’s accident occurred when a passenger bus traveling in one direction crashed into the rear of a disabled small truck parked only partially on the shoulder of the road and then collided with another bus in the oncoming lane, rescue personnel who rushed to the scene told The Associated Press. No one was in the parked truck.
According to a Transport and Communications Ministry report, 3,158 people were killed and 8,311 others were injured in 6,420 traffic accidents in Myanmar last year. The ministry said there were 1,730 deaths in 3,533 traffic accidents between January and July this year.
Although dozens of people are killed or injured annually on Kyaukpadaung roads, rescuers said this was the worst accident in recent times.
By GRANT PECK