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Three killed as car plows into cyclists

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Three killed as car plows into cyclists
The Nation / Phuket Gazette


PHUKET: Three cyclists were killed and two others seriously injured when an alleged drunk driver crashed her car into their bicycle rally in Chiang Mai’s Doi Saket district yesterday morning.

The tragedy happened on a popular stretch of road for local bicycle enthusiasts to ride in a convoy as a health-promoting leisure ritual in this northern province.

Doi Saket Police Station investigator Suriyan Chansai said that Saman Khanta, 62, Phongthep Khamkaew, 40, and Chaiwat Yonglan, 63, were the three fatalities in the accident. Their funeral took place yesterday.

Two other victims were in critical condition. Phongsak Polsing has been admitted to Lanna Hospital and Suphon Tasing is being treated in Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.

Maj Suriyan said the black Toyota car was found capsized on its roof at the scene. The 23-year-old alleged driver and student, Patchuda Jairuean, had a broken arm. Police claimed she was drunk when her car crashed into the bicycle rally. They also suspect she may have fallen asleep while driving.

They said blood-alcohol tests showed Ms Patchuda had 67 milligrams per cent of alcohol in her bloodstream – beyond the legal limit of 50mg.

Ms Patchuda was being treated at Lanna Hospital and police would notify her of drunk-driving charges after treatment.

Monkol Ngamkayan, a Sansai Bicycle Club member who witnessed the accident, said 20 club members were riding along the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai Highway when he heard the impact as the car hit the last five bicycles of the rally. Mr Monkol said that after crashing into the bicycles, the car swayed and hit a street light pole on the traffic island and turned over. The three bikers were killed instantly and all five bicycles were badly damaged.

Mr Monkol said the club members met every Sunday and rode from Chiang Mai’s Sansai district to Mae Kachan in Chiang Rai. The group always rode in a single file along the left edge and carried reflectors on all bicycles.

Boonchin Sawamool, head of the Chiang Mai Sunday Cycling Club, said accidents to bicycle riders were mostly caused by drunk drivers in the early morning – the time when many revellers returned home from partying all night. He suggested cyclists should ride in the late morning to escape those drivers and on local roads to avoid speeding cars.

According to Boonchin, there were around six cycling deaths in Chiang Mai in the last two years and the ‘most dangerous’ route for cycling in Chiang Mai was the road to Ratchapruek Royal Park.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

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Crime

Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral

Caitlin Ashworth

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Gunman kills mayoral candidate, injures 4 other municipal candidates at funeral | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook/ ยงข่าวร้อน

A gunman shot and killed a woman running for mayor and wounded 4 others at a funeral in Ratchaburi, a province west of Bangkok near the Myanmar border. Police say they suspect the shooting was politically motivated. Out of the 4 people injured, 3 were running in the March 28 municipal election while another was the kamnan, a government official of a tambon, which is a sub district.

The gunman is still at large, but police say they suspect the shooter is Wanchart Niamraksa, a member of the Ratchaburi provincial administration organisation.

The gunman opened fire just as the kamnan of tambon Don Sai, Yingpan Kanket, was lighting candles and incense sticks under a Buddha image to start the ceremony, witnesses say. Shots were fired from behind the main Buddha image at the temple’s open prayer hall, witnesses say.

Bullets hit 5 people, including Yingpan who is in critical condition. Varaporn Niamraksa, who was running for mayor of the municipality, was shot and died at the hospital. Nakhon Wanpen, Somthawil Srirat and Monthien Jaitham, who are all running for the municipal council of tambon Don Sai, were shot.

Police found 2 spent .22 cartridges and a 11mm spent shell at the scene. The suspect faces charges of murder, attempted murder, carrying firearms and ammunition without permission and carrying them in public without a proper reason.

SOURCES: Nation Thailand | Bangkok Post

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Phuket

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

The Thaiger

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Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2 | The Thaiger

In today’s Thailand News Today…. The island of Phuket has a firm plan to get its residents vaccinated leading up to an October opening for tourists, the Thai PM backs up his police over last Sunday’s protest violence and Thai Airway’s employee union criticises the changes to employee contracts.

But the plan must be approved by the national government by April, if the province wants to open tourism by October 1. Phuket has a resident population of around 300- 400,000 people.

Before you go rushing off to book your plane tickets we’d stress that this is another in a long list of proposals that have not come to fruition and we’d urge patience until the Government approves the plans.

Meanwhile the island has taken delivery of 4,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac Covid-19 vaccine. Vaccinations started yesterday, with priority given to 1,500 healthcare workers and 500 “at-risk” officials exposed to Covid-19 patients.

On a broader note… Thailand’s Tourism Minister says he has asked the Public Health Ministry to approve a vaccine passport scheme aimed at reviving Thailand’s devastated tourism sector. According to the Minister, the government is looking to the World Health Organisation to issue a statement on vaccine passports before it makes a final decision on the matter.

The Thai PM, Prayut Chan-o-cha has defended police action against protesters taking part in Sunday’s anti-government rally in Bangkok. Officers from the Metropolitan Police Bureau used tear gas, a water cannon and rubber bullets in an effort to drive protesters back from the PM’s residence. The PM insists the actions were in line with international standards. He says that police did not violate the protesters’ rights.

Thai researchers are claiming that horseshoe bats are not responsible for transmitting the Covid virus to humans. A researcher with the Thai Red Cross Emerging Infectious Diseases-Health Science Centre, says that even though the bats have tested positive for a coronavirus, it is not the strain that is transmissible to humans, and it’s certainly not the virus that causes Covid-19.

As Thai Airways tries to sell new contracts and conditions to its remaining workforce, the labour union of the national carrier is challenging changes to the employment contracts, where Thai Airways employees are being asked to agree to changes as part of the bigger financial rehabilitation program.

But a union representative says the new contracts are unfair because it includes fewer leave days and shorter holidays. The union has filed a complaint with the Department of Labour Protection and Welfare.

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission

Caitlin Ashworth

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Thai army medic accused of injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccine during UN mission | The Thaiger
Stock photo via Pexels

A medic for the Royal Thai Army was dismissed and his medical license revoked after injecting troops with fake Covid-19 vaccines during a United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan. The “vaccine” was actually just water. The medic, who is also a lieutenant, apparently injected 273 Thai troops with the water shot and charged 607 baht, or around $20 USD, per injection.

A soldier noticed the bottles the medic was using for the injections were unlabelled. A superior then launched an internal investigation and found that the bottles were just filled with water. Under the UN’s orders, the medic was dismissed and sent back to Thailand. His medical license was also revoked.

Thai media first reported the news, saying that a Thai army doctor at a South Sudan field hospital was suspended from duty due to an investigation into alleged fraud. The medic reportedly worked at the hospital from December 2019 to December 2020.

Following the news report, Thai Supreme Commander General Chalermphol Srisawat confirmed that a medic had been injecting troops with water and claiming it was a Covid-19 vaccine.

SOURCES: Thai PBS | Nation Thailand

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