PHOTO: The statue of Phra Buddha Navaratchabophit out of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration headquarters yesterday.
Happy New Year!
Patong’s new year celebrations drew unprecedented crowds to see in 2018. From midnight to 2am there was a gridlock with zero movement of traffic along the beach road (Thaweewong Rd) as revellers streamed off the beaches and back into the town. Police eventually got things moving by ushering traffic up one-way sois to relieve the mess. Here’s this morning’s other local news…
Gridlock on Patong’s Thaweewong Rd at 2am this morning.
Welcoming in the new year around the Kingdom
In Bangkok, huge crowds gathered for big concerts, light-and-sound shows and stunning fireworks at CentralWorld. Many other revellers counted down to 2018 in a celebratory atmosphere at eateries, on Khao San Road and at top venues featuring special events.
In the provinces, holidaymakers camped out at various destinations to celebrate the birth of a new year with their families.
Many Buddhists consider it auspicious to start the new year with prayers.
“We have prepared shuttle services for prayers,” Thirapol said. “Shuttles run from the foot of the mountain to the temples.”
In Songkhla, at least four temples in the municipal zone hosted overnight rituals to allow people to pray from New Year’s Eve to the early hours of today.
Public holiday today and tomorrow.
Enjoy your first day of 2018. For many it’s a public holiday. You also get tomorrow off as an official public holiday. Phuket’s Or Bor Jor and Government offices will be closed, including Immigration. Banks will mostly be closed but open at shopping centres.
Four car pile up on Patong Hill
Not one. Not two. Not three. But a FOUR car pile up going up Patong Hill from Kathu at approximately 1.30am this morning. A silver pick up has careered across into the traffic coming up the hill. A red sedan has taken the full impact of the crash with half it’s front end under the front of the pick up. Kusultam Rescue workers were directing traffic.
Royal Crematorium draws huge crowds. Now closed.
More than 3.89 million people visited the Royal Crematorium exhibition between November 2 and last Saturday.
People visited the exhibition in remembrance of the much-revered and loved HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
The Crematorium will be deconstructed beginning in mid-January 2018. Parts will be displayed in a new museum being built for a 2020 opening in Pathum Thani province, Culture Minister Vira Rojpojchanarat said on December 22.
6 lost men in a boat, picked up be the Navy
The 6 men, reported missing earlier yesterday (December 30), have been rescued by Royal Thai Navy Area 3 today (December 31). All safe and back home.
This morning at 8.50 am, the Air Force from Royal Thai Navy Area 3 made an aerial servey around the area where the crew last had made their last contact and after an hour of search, they found the missing boat with the 6 men casting anchor approx. 20 nautical miles from Prom Thep Cape. The navy then towed the boat back to shore.
Prayut threatens more election delays
While there are no signs of chaos and the authorities say the country is now peaceful, Prime Minister General Prayut Chan-o-cha has threatened not to call an election unless there is public order this year. He also dismissed speculation that he was already forming a political party to enable his return to power after the election.
“If you want an election, you should stay in order peacefully. I cannot call an election if conflicts remain, and I cannot take responsibility for such disputes,” he said.
Tackling Thailand’s floods head on in 2018
The Government plans to use the special power granted by the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) to speed up recruitment of officers for the newly created National Water Resources Management Office so as to prepare for floods next year. The creation of an office taking an integrative water resources management approach was applauded by experts, who said the government appears to have learnt from a series of floods in all parts of the country this year. An integrative water management approach is the best way to handle water problems, they said.
Casualties mounting up. 167 dead in first three days.
Casualties from road accidents for the first three days of the “Seven Dangerous Days” of safety driving campaign have risen to 167 killed and 1,793 injured, with drunk driving being the main culprit of the road carnage.
According to the Centre for the Prevention and Reduction of Road Accidents during the New Year’s festival, the updated report showed that, on December 30, there were altogether 649 road accidents, resulting to 73 deaths and 688 people injured, with drunk driving accounting for 47.92 percent of the accidents followed by speeding, which accounted for 21.88 percent of the accidents.
Motorcycles accounted for 78.77 percent of the accidents on December 30, followed by 8.07 percent from pickup trucks. 65.95 percent of the incidents took place on straight roads under the jurisdiction of the Highways Department, with 26.66 percent of the incidents occurring during 4 pm-8 pm.
Patong Hill at 1.30am this morning. Four car pile up.
Police are preparing to issue an arrest warrant for a BMW driver who produced a big sword at a Thonburi department store parking lot.
Dash cam footage from a following car caught the action at the Tha Phra store on Wednesday evening.
After a minor bump between the BMW and a Honda Jazz the driver of the Honda got out to survey the damage. It was not possible to hear what was said but suddenly the BMW driver raced back to his boot and retrieved a sword and began to threaten the driver and his passengers.
UPDATE: He’s been arrested.
PHOTO: Daily News
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