Pattaya Daily News

11 October 2009 :: 17:10:44 pm 31692

State Railways to Recruit More Staff After Derailment Accident

BANGKOK, Oct 11 (TNA) -- The State Railways of Thailand (SRT) will request Transport Minister Sopon Zarum for permission to recruit more personnel to offset its manpower shortage, even as train maintenance will be upgraded, one week after an express train derailed at high speed at Hua Hin killing seven passengers and injuring nearly 90 others.
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Senior SRT executives including SRT governor Yutthana Thapcharoen and his deputy Pakorn Tangjatsakow, in his capacity of chairman of the committee probing the accident, will hold a news conference on Monday on the outcome of the investigation after driver Roengsak Phanthep told investigators that he collapsed without warning while he was on duty.

The accident, considered the worst rail incident in Thailand for many years, took place last Monday when a crowded Route No. 84 passenger train, bound from Trang to Bangkok, derailed at Khao Tao Station in the resort town of Hua Hin in Prachuab Khiri Khan, killing seven passengers and injuring nearly 90 others.

It is expected that both executives would state during the press conference that the train was in perfect condition and had received regular maintenance, the last one taking place on September 29.

Mr. Yutthana will request Minister Sopon for permission to recruit 781 new SRT employees, including 171 new graduates in railways engineering who are currently employed as temporary staff. He said he hoped to make the temporary workers permanent workers at SRT.

The government-owned railway is facing a severe staff shortage and numbers of train drivers have been unable to take holidays or sick leave.

Besides recruiting more staff, the SRT chief is expected to order maintenance staff or engineers to conduct more frequent safety checks on every train.

Currently, SRT has only 1,049 train drivers nationwide, but it is allowed under a government regulation to have a total of 1,258 drivers. (TNA)

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DRIVER OF SRT TRAIN DERAILED IN HUA HIN SAYS HE FAINTED ON DUTY

PRACHUAP KHIRI KHAN, Oct 9 (TNA) The driver of the State Railways of Thailand Trang-Bangkok train which derailed in Hua Hin on Monday said on Friday that he collapsed without warning while he was on duty.

Roengsak Phanthep told the investigators that it happened before the train approached Khao Tao station.

Mr Roengsak will have a medical examination to confirm his claim, said the police.

The police will also question a mechanic who was working with Mr Roengsak at the time. The investigation is expected to finish on Tuesday as the mechanic was injured and is now in hospital.

The stationmaster at Khao Tao train station told the authorities that an SRT worker who controlled the rail switching signal went through proper channels and contacted the train driver by radio but there was no response from the train driver or any other SRT crew on the train.

Pol. Maj-Gen. Rungroj Saengkram, provincial commander, also questioned the train driver. The general said the investigators will further investigate the cause of the accident to determine if it confirms the train driver’s statement or not.

A crowded passenger train, route number 84 Trang-Bangkok en route from the southern province of Trang to the capital early Monday, derailed at Khao Tao Station in the resort town of Hua Hin in Prachuab Khiri Khan, killing at least seven passengers, while nearly 90 others were injured. (TNA)

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Thailand News

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