Thailand

Army flood-relief helicopter crashes in Yala

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Army flood-relief helicopter crashes in Yala
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: An Army helicopter flying flood-relief missions crashed in Yala yesterday, injuring the four crewmen on board.

The helicopter, from the Royal Thai Army’s Region 4 base in the South, crashed in Yala’s Muang district yesterday afternoon while providing assistance to residents affected by flooding during heavy rain, Fourth Army commander Lt Gen Prakarn Cholayuth said.

The four crewmen received minor injuries. They are pilots Capt Seksan Puraphol, 33, and Lt Apisit Prahacha, 32, plus aircraft mechanics Pol Sgt Major Sa-ngun Muengkamrueng, 55, and Pol Sgt Major Kittipong Saeng-Thit, 37.

Gen Prakarn confirmed that he had reported the incident to Gen Udomdej Sitabutr, the Deputy Defence Minister and Army chief.

The massive flooding in Narathiwat province is likely to continue until January, provincial Governor Natthaphong Sirichana warned yesterday.

Natthaphong spoke after the province’s weather bureau said rain could continue both tomorrow and on Tuesday and potentially cause flash floods over the entire province.

The flooding has been caused by runoff from Sankalakhiri mountain range, which was triggered by four consecutive days of heavy rain.

That caused the Sungai Kolok River to burst its banks, resulting in some 300 households along the river and nearby agricultural areas in Sukhirin, Waeng and Sungai Kolok districts being covered by two metres of water.

More than a dozen districts have been declared disaster zones since last week, with 115,853 residents from 30,624 households affected.

Twelve homes have been badly damaged and another 55 affected, while 115 schools have been closed and 79 roads and bridges made impassable. There have also been landslides at eight locations.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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