Updated: 03/25/2014 00:58 | By Agence France-Presse

At least 27 dead in north Thailand bus accident

At least 27 people died and more than 20 others were injured late Monday when a bus careered off a hillside road and into a ravine in northern Thailand, police told AFP.

At least 27 dead in north Thailand bus accident

A Thai bus driver walks in front of parked buses in in Bangkok, on June 29, 2005 - by Pornchai Kittiwongsakul

"The toll is now at 27 dead and 24 injured -- they are severely injured from what I can see," police captain Sittichai Panyasong of Mae Tho district in Tak province said, revising up an earlier toll.

The accident took place at around 8:40 pm local time (1340 GMT) in Tak, which borders Myanmar.

A local hospital confirmed the number of dead at 27, adding most died at the scene.

"The brakes failed as the bus came downhill on a hilly road and it crashed through the concrete barrier and fell into 150 metre-deep ravine," Sittichai added.

The victims are all believed to be Thai local government officials on a work trip to neighbouring provinces, he said.

Thailand's roads are among the world's deadliest and accidents are common, especially on buses travelling late at night.

A recent report by the World Health Organization said Thailand saw some 38.1 road deaths per 100,000 people in 2010 -- behind only the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean and the South Pacific island of Niue.

That compares with an average of 18.5 in Southeast Asia as a whole.

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