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Government chief, 100-year-old tree deliver crushing blow to driver’s insurance



PHUKET: The chief of the Phuket Provincial Social Security Office (PPSSO) has denied any liability for a tree – believed by locals to be about 100 years old – that fell and crushed five cars in the Social Security car park this morning.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

“It was an accident and the tree was here before the building,” PPSSO Chief Phuma Thammakul told the Phuket Gazette.

“I would say the car owners must deal with their own insurance companies as we have no part in this,” he added.

Expat Wilfried Widerschein narrowly escaped being crushed by the falling tree trunk.

“I came to the office with my wife and son. I had just parked my pickup and we had got out of the truck. I heard a sound like a tree breaking, so we were able to run clear of the area just before the tree fell,” he explained.

The cab of his Hilux Vigo pickup was crushed by the trunk of the falling tree.

Thanusak Wonganan, who works at a hotel in Patong, gave thanks for being spared the wrath of the falling tree.

“I had some errands to take care of at the office. I had just parked my truck when I heard three loud sounds like tree branches breaking. Then the tree fell on my truck while I was still in it,” he said.

Heavy branches crushed the bonnet and fell across the back tray of his Toyota Hilux Mighty-X.

“Fortunately, I am unharmed because it did not hit the cab,” he said.

Mr Thanusak held up his Master Tuad amulet, which he said might have brought him the good fortune not to be struck by the tree.

Also damaged in the incident were a Toyota Vios, a Mitsubishi Pajero and a Honda City.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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