One dead, 21 hurt in bus crash
KAMALA: A guide from Bangkok-based tour company Mandarin Express was killed when the bus he was in crashed not far from the Thavorn Beach Village. Twenty-one other guides from the same company were injured in the accident, three of them seriously. The bus was taking the guides from Phuket FantaSea to Patong when the driver lost control after the brakes failed. One of the injured guides, 29-year-old Pairoj Wootthiworawong, from Yala, told the Gazette that he was sitting in the front left row with Densak Shae-Man, 40, and had just got off the phone with his wife when the bus went out of control. The guides had been discussing whether to go to the Horror House, and had been teasing each other about ghosts when the jovial atmosphere in the coach turned to terror. The bus hit and knocked down two power poles on the left side of the road before swerving across to the opposite side and plunging down a steep hillside. K. Pairoj said the bus began to roll and he and K. Densak fell out through a window. The bus rolled over the pair and continued down the hill. When he came to his senses – still clutching his mobile phone – K. Pairoj struggled back up the hill where he could see K. Densak lying face down. He shook him but K. Densak appeared to be unconscious, so K. Pairoj went to try to help the others. Later, he learned that K. Densak had died instantly from head injuries. “K. Densak’s head hit the glass between the passenger section and the driver. He didn’t know that the accident was going to happen, but I felt the driver trying to brake twice – and the bus did not slow down. “The last time the driver hit the brake, the bus was already out of control so I turned my back to the glass. As a result, my back and left leg were injured; I had to have 46 stitches.” Tavatchai Plernkajohnkiet, 42, manager of Mandarin Express, who was also hurt and ended up with 49 stitches, said, “I was standing when the accident happened. The driver was not driving fast because we were going down the hill. I noticed him trying to brake three times before the bus went out of control. “The bus rolled about 10 times before it stopped,” he added. The police officer in charge of the case was not available for comment but it is understood that the driver of the bus, who disappeared after the accident, is being sought. Officials of the bus company, Lohn Yan Yon Co, were also not available for comment.
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