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15 people, most of them children, killed in Thailand school bus crash

By Kocha Olarn and Jethro Mullen, CNN
February 28, 2014 -- Updated 1239 GMT (2039 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Twelve children and three adults are killed in the crash, police say
  • About 60 people are injured after a bus full of children collides with a truck
  • The bus was taking dozens of schoolgirls on a trip to the beach
  • Report: Thailand has one of the highest fatality rates from road crashes in the world

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN) -- Fifteen people, most of them children, were killed in central Thailand on Friday after the brakes failed on a bus taking them on a school trip, sending the vehicle careening into a truck, police said.

As the bus sped downhill, the students could do little but hold onto each other before the collision, according to Police Lt. Kittikarn Klomlee, who said he'd spoken to survivors of the crash.

The dead included 10 schoolgirls, two female teachers, the male partner of one of the teachers, and two children of teachers, said Kittikarn, who is in charge of the police investigation into the crash.

About 60 people were injured, he said, adding that he doesn't know the exact number because victims were sent to various hospitals in the area. Many of the injured survivors are in a serious condition, he said.

The crash happened early Friday in Nadi district of Prachinburi province. The bus was taking school girls aged 10 to 14 from the neighboring province of Nakhon Ratchasima to the beach at the resort town of Pattaya, authorities said.

Earlier Friday, a different local police official had incorrectly reported that 14 or 15 of the dead were children.

Thailand has the second highest fatality rate from road crashes in the world, after Namibia, according to a report published this month by the Transportation Research Institute of the University of Michigan.

CNN's Kocha Olarn reported from Bangkok, and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong

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