PHUKET: The Public Health Ministry says at least 300 people died and 19,433 were injured in auto accidents in Thailand over the holiday period. Ministry officials speculate that many of the accidents were caused by drivers relying on amphetamines to stay awake. During the four-day New Year’s holiday here in Phuket, 261 people were injured and 9 killed in car and motorcycle accidents. All of the local deaths and 135 of the injuries occurred during the 48-hour period from December 31 through January 1. The death toll includes a German tourist whom police name as Michael Mikel from Germany. He was severely injured when his motorcycle crashed into a pick-up truck in Patong, and died in the emergency room at Wachira Hospital in Phuket Town.
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