25 killed in eastern Thailand as minivan loses control and ploughs through traffic

The police says the driver of the minivan lost control and ploughed through a central reservation into oncoming traffic.

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At least 25 people, including two toddlers, died in a horrific collision between a minivan and a pickup truck in eastern Thailand on Monday, the latest incident reminding the country's notoriously dangerous roads.

"Twenty-five people were killed in the road accident," Police Lieutenant Colonel Wiroj Jamjamras told AFP. "The victims were killed by fire or the impact," he added.

The police said the accident took place when the driver of the minivan lost control and ploughed through a central reservation into oncoming traffic in the eastern province of Chonburi. Both the vehicles burst into flames.

When the accident occurred, the minivan was packed with 15 people while the other pickup truck was travelling with 12 passengers. Wiroj said that two people were injured but are expected to survive.

Channel 3 broadcast a footage that showed firefighters tackling the burning and twisting wreckage of the two vehicles. According to 2015 World Health Organization report, Thailand has the world's second most dangerous roads in terms of per capita deaths despite relatively good infrastructure.

Reports show that fatalities tend to rise in the New Year week and during Songkran festival, which is held in April. Millions of low-paid workers return to the countryside from their city jobs to see family during this time.

In Thai media, both the weeks are often dubbed as the "Seven Deadly Days" and during that time, the government keeps a daily death tally. It also tries to encourage better road safety.

Current reports show that as of Sunday, which is the fourth day of the country's New Year holiday week, nearly 280 people had died on Thailand's roads. The death rate has increased by 10 per cent than the last year. Out of those, some 43 per cent accident involved drink-driving while 82 per cent involved motorbikes.