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First Phuket road fatality for the year

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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First Phuket road fatality for the year | The Thaiger

PHUKET: A motorbike rider without a helmet has been reported as the first Phuket road fatality of the New Year.

The body of Uthai Maikhong, 33, was found beside his bike in a three-meter-deep roadside drainage ditch in front of Wat Muang Mai in Thalang about 8am yesterday.

Local residents heard an accident about 7pm the night before, but in the dark they failed to find any evidence of an accident, Lt Col Adul Nirapai of Thalang Police told the Gazette today.

Lt Col Adul said that a wound to Mr Uthai’s chest indicated that it was likely he died after being impaled by a discarded steel reinforcement bar found near his body.

Originally from Nakhon Sri Thammarat, Mr Uthai worked as a security guard at Phuket International Academy (PIA).

Although the accident occurred on Thursday night, the death has been recorded as the first of 2011 because the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) received notification only today.

The accident came just before today’s launch of island-wide enforcement of the helmet law.

Police did not find a helmet at the accident scene in Thalang.

The fatality was also the first for Phuket during the ‘Seven Days of Danger’ national road safety campaign.

The DDPM road-safety center recorded 14 accidents yesterday, the third day of the Seven Days campaign.

Twelve accidents involved motorbikes and one involved a mini-van. A Gazette reader reported, “There was a big accident with a mini van that rolled over just after the Yacht Haven Marina. The roof was flattened and it was very bent out of shape.”

From those accidents, 13 people were admitted to hospital for minor injuries, two in Phuket Town, five in Kathu and six in Thalang.

Ten of the people admitted were men and three were women. One was a child under 14 years of age.

The latest statistics bring the Phuket road toll to one dead and 32 people admitted to hospital since the campaign began.

The Nation today reported the national road toll at 151 deaths.

New Year’s Eve alone saw 684 road accidents, killing 72 people and injuring 716 others, the road safety center announced today, The Nation reported.

Phirapat Booncharoen, an assistant to the justice minister, said motorcycles were involved in 84.46 per cent of the road accidents, the report said.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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Environment

Clean the Beach Boot Camp takes on Nai Harn Beach on World Clean Up Day

The Thaiger

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Clean the Beach Boot Camp takes on Nai Harn Beach on World Clean Up Day | The Thaiger

A very special Clean The Beach Boot Camp (CBBC) took place on last Saturday in support World Clean Up Day. In total, 170 people, including 120 students from the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism at the Prince of Songkla University in Kathu headed to Nai Harn Beach, one of the island’s favourites in the island’s south. 

Involving some 18 different nationalities, Krix Luther, the founder of CBBC and iBan Plastic, provided participants with a very active and fun workout before cleaning the beach. Now in its 7th year, CBBC has become a global movement, visiting beaches all over the world with the aim of keeping them and the oceans beautiful, clean and free of trash. 

In total, 35 large bin bags (180 kilograms) of various garbage was collected (mostly single-use plastic). Nai Harn Beach was left in a much cleaner state than when the volunteers arrived and, at the end of the beach clean-up, all participants were treated to a delicious, free burger, from Prime Burger in Patong, sponsored by the Phuket Expat Centre. 

Well done to everybody who took part in this epic CBBC, and a special well done to the 120 volunteer students from the Faculty of Hospitality and Tourism at Phuket’s PSU.

Krix Luther looks forward to seeing people at the next Clean the Beach BootCamp to get involved and keep our beautiful beaches clean.

“You can help keep Thailand clean by saying no to single-use plastic.”

Clean the Beach Boot Camp takes on Nai Harn Beach on World Clean Up Day | News by The Thaiger

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Air Pollution

Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket

The Thaiger

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Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket | The Thaiger

MAIN PHOTO: Phuket International Airport – Phuket People’s Voice

Phuket awakes today enveloped by an eerie sea of smoke-laced mist and smog – a combination of light winds, smoke blowing up the Malacca Strait from the Indonesian plantation fires and low seasonal cloud. The conditions have reduced visibility generally around the island to less than a kilometre.

Planes have still been landing at Phuket International Airport without disruption but airport officials say they are monitoring the situation and getting feedback from pilots.

Officially, the Thai Meteorological Department forecast is for a cloudy day with rain, and its hoped that the monsoonal winds may kick in during the day. But the prevailing winds are also the direction from where the problem is happening, from the south and south-west.

Cloudy with scattered thundershowers and isolated heavy rain in Ranong, Phangnga, Phuket, Krabi and Trang. Minimum temperature 23-25 °C. Maximum temperature 29-33 °C. Southwesterly winds 20-35 km/hr. Wave height about 2 meters and above 2 meters in thundershower areas.

Singapore ran its showcase annual street-circuit Grand Prix last night amid the regional smoke crisis, caused by intentionally lit fires on the Indonesian islands, mostly Sumatra and Kalimantan. Indonesia President Jokowi has sent officials, army and fire-fighters to the areas to battle the blazes, arrest the farmers and representatives from the companies responsible. Some 30,000 people are now deployed to solve the urgent, but seasonal, problem.

Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Singapore GP Circuit last night – Reuters

Meanwhile the air quality readings for Phuket this morning indicate the air pollution is three times the world upper-limit standard of 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air. Southern Thailand is also suffering the poor air quality with Narithawat also recoding readings over 150 this morning.

Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket | News by The Thaiger Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket | News by The Thaiger Smoke-laced smog envelops Phuket | News by The Thaiger

Phuket enveloped by misty smog causing a traffic hazard and reducing visibility – Ajarn GC

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Phuket

Vietnam Airlines opening direct Phuket to Ho Chi Minh City flights

Bill Barnett

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Vietnam Airlines opening direct Phuket to Ho Chi Minh City flights | The Thaiger

by Bill Barnett c9hotelworks.com

Vietnam Airlines will commence direct flights between Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and Phuket on October 27.

Flights will operate three days a week, on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. The airline is also launching direct Ho Chi Minh City to Denpasar (Bali) service.

Vietjet Air, the popular new low-coast airline out of Vietnam, is currently servicing the increasingly popular route.

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