As many as 60,000 people died when an oil tanker carrying crude oil exploded on a busy highway in southern Thailand’s capital Bangkok, according to Thai media reports.
The tanker, which had been loaded with gas from a pipeline, collided with a tractor-trailer carrying heavy equipment that had been travelling at 80 kilometers per hour, killing all 76 people aboard.
“Thailand is in mourning for those who lost their lives.
The country is deeply shocked and deeply saddened over this tragic event,” the country’s prime minister said in a statement.
Thailand’s disaster management department said that a total of 6,890 people were hospitalized, with about 10,000 of them in intensive care.
A firefighting team was seen arriving on the scene, and ambulances and rescue teams were dispatched to the scene.
The accident occurred at around 7:30 a.m. local time, according the Associated Press.
The disaster affected about 1,000 homes, as well as an oilfield.
“I feel a lot of sadness because the country is mourning for this tragedy,” Bangkok resident Prasut Padawan told the AFP news agency.
“The people are scared.
I don’t know how they can get out.”
The tanker carrying oil, known as a dang kam, was travelling between the Thai capital and the southern province of Pattani, where the accident happened.
The area is home to about 80,000 to 120,000 workers.