116 killed during Songkran festivities in Thailand

By Hoang Vu   April 15, 2024 | 06:37 pm PT
116 killed during Songkran festivities in Thailand
People play with water as they celebrate the Songkran holiday which marks the Thai New Year in Bangkok, Thailand, April 13, 2023. Photo by Reuters
On the first three days of Songkran, the Thai New Year, that began on April 11, 116 people have been killed in road accidents, including many tourists.

Bangkok had the highest death toll -- four -- followed by three fatalities each in Chanthaburi, Chiang Rai, Nakhon Ratchasima, and Phetchabun provinces, Withaya Yamuang, deputy permanent secretary for transport, was quoted as saying by Bangkok Post.

There were 936 accidents across Thailand.

Speeding and drunk driving were the main causes of the accidents, though the government set up checkpoints on main roads and dispatched officers to ensure safe driving.

The period between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. has had the highest accident rate of 9.18%, according to Nation Thailand.

The 30-39 age group accounted for the highest number of injuries and fatalities, 18.52%, it added.

Traditionally, tourists from across the world flock to Thailand to celebrate the water fighting festival that lasts nearly a week.

Despite its popularity, Songkran was dubbed the "seven dangerous days" by authorities a decade or so ago to highlight the dangers on the roads during its celebration.

Last year’s festival saw more than 2,000 accidents and 236 deaths.

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