Highway death toll rises to 229 during Thailand’s Songkran festivalApril 17th, 2011 - 9:21 pm ICT by BNO News
BANGKOK, THAILAND (BNO NEWS) — A total of 229 people were killed and scores of people were injured in road accidents during the first six days of the Thai traditional Songkran Festival holiday, officials said Sunday.
The Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Department said a total of 229 people were killed and 3,172 others injured in 2,932 road accidents from April 11 to 16. On Saturday, 41 people were killed and 386 others injured.
Danaithorn Wongthai, assistant police chief, said drink-driving was the main cause of road accidents at 39%, followed by reckless driving (30%), during the period from Monday to Saturday, the Bangkok Post reported.
Police said they set up road checkpoints on major routes to help traffic flow as vast numbers are expected to head back to the capital on Sunday.
During the Songkran water festival, the traditional Thai new-year celebrations which are famous for spraying water, millions of Thais return to their hometowns and villages. Hundreds of people are killed each year in road accidents during the celebrations.
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Tags: bangkok post, bangkok thailand, bno, checkpoints, disaster prevention, highway death toll, hometowns, new year, new year celebrations, police chief, prevention and mitigation, reckless driving, road accidents, six days, songkran, Songkran Festival, thai new year, traffic flow, water festival