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News
The Car Cemetery
luke duggleby
Jan 11, 2017
In the 10 years that records have been kept the New Year death toll during what the Thai media term the "seven dangerous days" between Dec 29 to Jan 4 2017 was the highest its ever been. A total of 478 people were killed and 4,128 injured in road accidents as Thai people travel around the country celebrating the New Year. Thailand ranks one of the highest in the world for road fatalities and every year it gets worse. 

In 2015 I shot a small project using long exposures and portable lighting to try to illustrate this issue and will share a series of images from that set. 

On the outskirts of Bangkok in a scruffy suburb is a car crash depository. Dubbed ‘the car cemetery’ by locals it was where many of Bangkok’s damaged wrecks would end up if no-one else wanted to them. But the site has also taken on another reputation; that of being one of the most haunted places in the city, third to be precise according to a local TV station. Thai’s are very superstitious people and most believe in ghosts or spirits. Here it was believed that the spirits of those killed in the crashes remained with the vehicles they died in. Many a passerby or taxi driver have stories of people in and around the compound who then simply vanishing. 

With most crashed cars now being bought at auctions the car cemetery doesn’t receive new vehicles anymore but many of the old ones remain surrounded by weeds and covered in rust. Grotesque relics and unwanted wrecks in a country where far to many people die unnecessarily on the road. 
Whether you believe in spirits or not this ghostly reminder shows that people's driving habits must change. 478 is far too many!

Luke Duggleby Photography

Website of British photographer Luke Duggleby. Based in Bangkok, Thailand, Luke specialises in documentary, travel and portrait photography focusing on Asia.
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