KATHU: Thirty nine tourists had a lucky escape yesterday, when a bus taking them from Le Meridien hotel in Patong to the airport slid partly off the road, but hit a traffic warning post preventing it from rolling down a mountainside. Two people were slightly hurt when the bus slid in rain, near the Pun Tuao Kong Chinese shrine above Patong, on the road to Kathu. Joan Beard, 62, of Australia, received a broken nose. Vassana Wongwattanakij, 25, who is five months pregnant, suffered bruising to her back and hips. Miss Beard was released today and Khun Vassana is expected to leave hospital tomorrow after examinations showed that neither she nor her baby were in danger. The remaining passengers were transferred to another bus and continued to the airport. Somnuak Namsangun, 35, the driver of the bus, which belongs to Road Tran Travel Co, told police that the bus slid on the wet road. He tried to control it, and managed to keep the front of the bus on the tarmac. The rear, however, hit a traffic warning post on the outside of the curve. Beyond the traffic post there is a steep mountain slope.
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