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Phuket Gazette: 10 dead, 52 hurt in just 2 road accidents; Speeders to be fined

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Phuket Gazette: 10 dead, 52 hurt in just 2 road accidents; Speeders to be fined | The Thaiger
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PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

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

Ten killed and 52 injured in Two upcountry smash-ups
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: In a black day on Thai roads yesterday, 10 people died and 52 were hurt, many seriously, in just two multi-car pile-ups.

The first accident involved 18 cars on Mittaparb Road in Saraburi province and killed three people and injured some 20 others. A second accident in Ayutthaya killed seven and injured 12 others.

The Mittaparb Road accident took place in front of the TPI cement factory on the inbound road in Kaeng Khoi district at about 1:30am.

According to police, the trailer of a speeding truck came loose from its coupling, causing it to disconnect. The cars following were unable to stop and slammed into the trailer.

A total of 18 vehicles – including pickups and minivans – were involved. Three people were killed instantly – two van passengers, Patchanee Pimhinkong, 13, Chai Phaengcharee, 56, and an unnamed woman in a pickup truck – while some 20 injured were sent to Kaeng Khoi and Saraburi Hospitals.

Police had to seal off the road to make possible the transfer of the dead and injured.

They arrested the trailer truck driver, Chaiporn Bamrab, 64.

Meanwhile, seven people were killed and 12 others injured when a pickup truck carrying illegal Burmese migrant workers veered off the road and plunged into a roadside irrigation canal in Ayutthaya’s Ban Phraek district, according to local police.

The accident left five women and two men dead, including the driver, Suwicharn Boonmen from Sukhothai, as well as injuring 12 other migrant workers sitting in the open back of the vehicle, Ban Phraek police said.

Rescue workers spent two hours retrieving the Sukhothai-registered vehicle from the four-metre-deep canal.

Most of the victims were identified as Burmese migrant workers.

Preliminary investigations have revealed that the vehicle was bringing the workers from Mae Sot, in the Thai-Burmese border province of Tak, and was heading for the central province of Lop Buri via the Asian Highway.

As he approached Ang Thong province, the driver saw a police checkpoint and tried to avoid a search, speeding away and using a Ban Phraek district road as a shortcut.

Police said the driver might not have been familiar with the narrow road. He lost control and veered into the canal.

Speeding vans to face fines
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: Starting on Sunday, speeding passenger vans will be fined Bt5,000, and for a repeat offence will lose their public-transport licence.

Somchai Siriwattanachoke, director-general of the Land Transport Department, said yesterday that so far some 9,000 RFID (radio-frequency identification) tags have been installed in commuter vans to detect speeding on tollways.

Drivers found traveling over 90km/h will be fined Bt5,000 for the first offence, he told a press conference held by the department, Transport Co and Bangkok Mass Transit Authority.

For a second offence, they will be fined Bt10,000 and the public-transport licence will be revoked.

Anyone spotting vans that are driven too fast or in a reckless manner can report them to the 1584 hotline around the clock, Somchai said.

Tanker driver was dozing, say police
Phuket Gazette / The Nation

PHUKET: From evidence gathered at the Pattanakarn Road crash site, police believe the driver of an LPG tanker truck was dozing behind the wheel when his vehicle slammed into a bridge railing in Klong Tan district and exploded last week.

“Today our officers collected evidence from the burnt out vehicle and at the crash site. We have found no traces of braking on the road, leading us to assume the driver was dozing at the wheel,” Pol Lt General Peerapong Damapong, commissioner of the Office of Forensic Science said yesterday.

The driver, Anan Kaewma, fled the scene after the accident. Police urged him to surrender or face an arrest warrant.

The truck, carrying 4,000 litres of LPG, slammed into the bridge railing in front of Pattanakarn Soi 20 on Friday at about 5.30am and exploded. The blast seriously burnt a man and wounded two others.

Police sealed off traffic and allowed the fire to burn off the LPG as they could not close the valve. Traffic resumed around 1pm.

Pol Lt Col Krissada Kansoda of Klongtan said police had planned to talk to accident victim Buapan Suwannasaen, today but doctors at Phetcharavej Hospital had refused permission as he is still in a sterile room. Doctors believe he will be well enough to talk to police in a few days.

Krissada added that if the driver fails to show up within a few days, the police will seek court approval to issue an arrest warrant against him.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | German Embassy rally, permanent residency prospect, crowds in Pattaya | Oct 26 | The Thaiger

Today’s latest news from The Thaiger, looking at the latest in the protests, a surge of crowds in Pattaya and the latest proposals from the Thai government to increase a new stream of revenue.

Permanent residency, changes to quarantine period – Government mulls strategies to revive economy

Thailand’s energy minister has outlined a number of new strategies the government is discussing tohelp the Thai economy recover from the fallout of Covid-19 fallout.

Permanent residency for some condo purchases, changes to the mandatory quarantine and incentives for foreign investment are all under discussion.

The Eastern Economic Corridor, the special economic zone covering the eastern provinces of Rayong, Chon Buri and Chachoengsao, continues to eye foreign investors with a number of large infrastructure projects in the pipeline.

Of particular interest in the topics for discussion are that the government is considering offering permanent residency to people buying condos in the Kingdom, provided they don’t mortgage, transfer, or sell the units within 5 years of purchase.

In relation to foreign arrivals, he says the government will clarify its plans on any further reduction in quarantine time. He says that if the current 14 day quarantine period is to be reduced, this would only apply to those coming from countries considered “low risk” for Covid-19. It’s understood the Public Health Ministry is working on categorising countries into low, medium, and high risk.

Parliament in the middle of a 2 day session to discuss political impasse

An opposition spokesperson opened the special joint session of parliament today with a call for Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha to step down, as anti-government protesters continued to keep up their pressure.

Mr Sompong also called for the release of detained protesters as a goodwill gesture to try and end the current impasse. “ He said… The prime minister should be open-minded to the young protesters’demands, and stop delaying the process of writing of a new constitution.”

Meanwhile a Palang Pracharath Party MP Paiboon Nititawan defended the PM saying the country needed his leadership to get through the economic crisis and to protect the institution of the monarchy, which was under attack by protesters.

Protesters march on German Embassy in Sathorn Road

Meanwhile protesters gathered at the Sam Yan intersection today at 5pm, near Chulalongkorn University, and marched to the Germany embassy on Sathorn Road, to submit a controversial petition.

Protesters are asking German authorities to look into whether His Majesty the King had violated German sovereignty by exercising his power from German soil. It is the first time a foreign government has been targeted by the anti-governmentprotesters.

Protesters say the intention is to push for the restoration a “truly” constitutional monarchy in Thailand, under law.

A ‘spoiler’ rally is also underway by government supporters and ‘royalists’ at Lumpini Park, right in the middle of the march route to the German Embassy.

Protesters massed at the Ratchaprasong intersection in Bangkok last night

Last night crowds gathered at the Ratchprasong intersection, one of the promised locations for a rally in response to Saturday night’s refusal of the Thai PM to resign. Thousands gathered, mostly along the Ratchadamri Road, to hear speeches and musical performances.

Messages on some of the banners read “We are the people”, “Everyone is a leader”, “Thailand is for the people”, “Police should protect the people”.

Whilst blocking the intersection for 3 hours, with little police presence, the protesters disbanded peacefully just after sunset.

Pattaya springs back to life over the long weekend, more to come

Pattaya, struggling along for the past 7 months with a handful of domestic tourists and Bangkok weekenders, has had its busiest weekend for a long time, albeit a long weekend created by the public holiday in commemoration of King Chulongkorn.

Much of the increased traffic were Thai faces, a big change to the city’s old demographic of international tourists and expats.

Tourists flocked to the city for the long weekend which included the Eastern Colorful Food, Culture and Music festival stretching along the Beach Road foreshore.

The focus of the weekend’s events was the Beach Road which was visibly busy with locals and tourists joining in the foreshore festival, talent shows, music concerts and local food.

Schools advised to improve online learning in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Thailand schools are told to get ready for a possible second wave of Covid-19 and prepare to for lockdown measures, just in case, to make sure all children have equal access to education.

A Thai economist warns that the education gap between rich children in urban areas and poor children in rural areas could widen if schools are shut down again and resort to the same online learning measures tried out months ago.

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Thailand

Expert says all rail crossings should be upgraded after fatal train-bus collision

Caitlin Ashworth

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Expert says all rail crossings should be upgraded after fatal train-bus collision | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: @pr8riew

After the fatal freight train-charter bus collision earlier this month, authorities are looking into ways to make the rail crossings safer and to prevent potentially deadly incidents from happening in the future.

An expert in rail engineering says all rail crossings need to upgraded, urgently, while unofficial or illegal crossings should either be permanently closed off or upgraded with the proper safety equipment. Unofficial crossings are those that are used by locals, but are not approved by the State Railways of Thailand.

Chairperson of the Rail Engineering Committee at the Engineering Institute of Thailand, Rattapoohm Parichatprecha, gave suggestions about how to improve the rail crossings after an incident in Chachoengsao. On October 10, a train collided with a charter bus crossing the railway, killing 18 and injuring 44 who were on their way to a merit-making ceremony. Officials say the signal was broken and the crossing didn’t have a barrier gate to block traffic.

Then, a passenger train collided with a car, killing a woman and injuring 2 others at a railway crossing in Phetchaburi’s Khao Yai district on October 15.

The State Railway of Thailand says an average of 77 railway crossing incidents happen each year, killing an average of 28 people yearly and injuring 74. Some crossings are known as “black spots” where accidents occur more frequently, sometimes up to 4 times a year.

Rattapoohm says all legal crossings upgrade the warning signs and barricades, but warns that revamping the crossings could be expensive. In a previous report, Transport Minister Saksiam Chidchob acknowledged that the State Railways of Thailand’s budget to install railroad crossing gates has been cut.

The size of the rail crossing as well as the direction also comes into play, according to Rattapoohm.

“The width of the crossing must not be at least three metres. The road should also cut through the rail tracks in a straight line and not in a diagonal direction which would create blind spots.”

He says tree canopies must also be trimmed regularly to prevent branches and leaves from obstructing the view for both train conductors and drivers crossing the railway.

For illegal crossings, Rattapoohm says some can stay put since they are just used by the locals who are familiar with the terrain and know where the blind spots are, but says they should make sure the unofficial crossings stay off Google Maps.

“People outside the areas are unaware of the lurking danger the illegal crossings pose and many just follow directions in Google Map.”

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Schools advised to improve online learning in case of second Covid-19 outbreak

Caitlin Ashworth

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Schools advised to improve online learning in case of second Covid-19 outbreak | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Equitable Education Fund Facebook

Thailand schools are told to get ready for a possible second wave of Covid-19 and prepare to for lockdown measures – just in case – to make sure all children have equal access to education. An economist warns that the education gap between rich children in urban areas and poor children in rural areas could widen if schools shut down again and resort to the same online learning measures tried out months ago.

In an online seminar called “My school and Covid-19,” human development economist Dilaka Lathapitate stressed that school closures and the switch to online learning during the lockdown period led to an increase in the country’s education disparity. Dilaka, from the education unit of the World Bank in Bangkok, says Thailand’s education system isn’t ready for another outbreak.

“The pandemic denied many children, particularly those in rural areas, learning and self-development opportunities.”

Thailand tried the “distance learning” experiment during the lockdown, but it was deemed a failure. Many in remote areas had problems like the lack of WiFi, faulty reception and limited to no access to working computers. At one point, hundreds of volunteers were sent out by the Equitable Education Fund teach children in remote areas.

Taking students out of the classrooms and moving to online learning hit poor students the hardest, according to chairperson of the Princess Maha Chakri Award Foundation, Krissanapong Kirtikara. He says those students are often the most in need of comprehensive support.

Thailand isn’t ready to implement online learning, Dilaka says. If there was another coronavirus outbreak, the education gap between the rich and the poor would likely widen due to access to technology. Dilaka cited a survey that showed a “digital divide” between children in urban and rural areas.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

 

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