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Korean tourist in Phuket ICU after tour van slams into tree

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PHUKET: One Korean tourist remains in intensive care and another in general recovery in hospital after the tour van they were traveling in left the road and slammed into a tree in northern Phuket on Saturday.

The tourists were returning to Phuket after a day trip to Phang Nga.

Lt Col Prakob Boonkwan of the Tah Chat Chai Police reported that the accident happened in between the Thepkrasattri Bridge and the Tah Chat Chai police checkpoint just before 3pm.

An emergency-response team from the Kusoltham Rescue Foundation took 30 minutes using a ‘jaws of life’ metal cutter to free two tourists trapped in the mangled van.

Once freed from the wreck, they were rushed with the other injured tourist and the injured driver to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket Town.

“Mr Don Sik Uyoo, 35, is still in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Mrs Sun Hee Kim, 53, has a broken left wrist and a wound on her head. She is fine now, but she has not been discharged from the hospital,” a staffer at Bangkok Hospital Phuket told the Phuket Gazette today.

“Mr Sang Moon Lee, 63, required some stitches for wounds on his face, but has been released from the hospital.

“The Thai driver of the van, Anuchart Lertsiriwongsakul, has been transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital,” the officer added.

A medical officer at Vachira Phuket told the Gazette, “He has broken his femur [thigh bone] in several places. He has already undergone one surgery. We have postponed his next operation to October 26 [Wednesday] because of how badly his leg has swollen.”

Lt Col Prakob said the Korean tourists were staying at a hotel at the Laguna Phuket resort complex and were returning from Phang Nga.

Although he said it was still too early to determine the precise cause of the crash, Lt Col Prakob said he believed the driver’s unfamiliarity with that section of the road and the speed of the van were major factors in the accident.

— Wichai Wittawat

 

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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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