French tourists survive Phuket airport van crash

PHUKET: Three French tourists escaped serious injury when the passenger van they were in blew out a front tyre and tumbled onto the median guard rail en route to Phuket International Airport this afternoon.

Yassin Bouhou, 31, suffered a broken left leg and compatriot Franky Legueulle, 33, broke his left arm in the accident, confirmed Lt Col Watcharin Jirattikarnwiwat of the Tah Chat Chai Police.

“Their friend Sertac Akkurt, 26, suffered only minor bruises,” he told the Phuket Gazette.

The van driver, Phiboon Uthairangsri, 42, said that he heard a loud bang before the van skewed out of control.

“I heard a bursting noise and then lost control of the van,” Mr Phiboon told the Gazette.

“The front right tyre had blown out, which sent the van rolling onto the median. Fortunately, none of my passengers were seriously injured.”

Mr Phiboon, working for Persona Travel Company, had picked up the three tourists from Patong and was taking them to the airport when the accident happened.

“We were about 350 meters from the Thalang Technical College when the tyre blew, at about 1:15pm,” he said.

All three Frenchmen were taken to Thalang Hospital for treatment.

Police took Mr Phiboon into custody for further questioning.

“He has been charged with reckless driving for the time being while we establish if his actions or negligence played any role in the cause of the accident,” said Col Watcharin.

— Thawit Bilabdullar

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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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