2 killed, 9 injured as van collides with wild elephant in Thailand

2 killed, 9 injured as van collides with wild elephant in Thailand
PHOTO: The Nation/Asia News Network

A van driver and a passenger were killed and nine other passengers were injured when their chartered van hit a large wild elephant on a road in Chachoengsao's Sanam Chaikhet district early on Saturday.

The injured wild elephant fled into to the forest following the accident in Ban Huay Some village in Tambon Lard Krathing at 5am.

The condition of the elephant was unknown as it disappeared into the forest, leaving a trail of blood and a toe nail behind.

Somchai Supsamruay, 54, the van driver was killed along with front-seat passenger Yada Saennamwong, 47.

Boonmee Khaodee, 52, the driver of another van, told police that he and Somchai were driving three vans to take 30 passengers from Chachoengsao's Tha Trakiab district to thod krathin merit making in Roi Et.

Boonmee said he drove past the spot where the accident happened first and saw a young elephant standing at the roadside.

He said after he checked the rear mirror and did not see the second van he made a U-turn to check and found that it been involved in an accident.

Local residents said the area has some 20,000 rai of fertile forests of the Forestry Industry Organisation and some 20 wild elephants from the Ang Rua Wildlife Sanctuary moved to live in the forest a few years ago.

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