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One man dead in Phuket bus tragedy



PHUKET: One man has been confirmed dead as a result of a tour-bus accident on Patong Hill this morning.

Patong motorcycle taxi driver Warin Yongyut, 51, died from chest injuries caused when the Patong Municipality bus overturned on Phra Barami road at about 8:30am, a Patong Hospital official said.

Mr Warin was among 53 Patong Municipality volunteers on board the bus as it returned to Patong from Udon Thani in Northeastern Thailand (Isarn).

About 40 injured passengers were initially sent to Patong Hospital. Three seriously injured patients were transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital, including Patong resident Noy Mongkonbut, whose left hand was severed in the accident, the official said.

Another four were transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket for treatment while others remained at Patong Hospital.

The driver, who was uninjured in the accident, did not flee the scene and is at Patong Police Station for questioning, despite reports of a police “hunt” for him, Patong Police Superintendent Arayapan Pukbuakao told the Phuket Gazette.

“Nuan”, 40, had been the only driver on the journey to the funeral of highly revered monk Luangta Maha Bua Yannasampanno, Col Arayapan said.

With only one assistant, Mr Nuan and the passengers set out for Patong from the central province of Suphan Buri last night.

After a one-hour stopover in Surat Thani early this morning, the bus continued on the home stretch to Patong, where it crashed on a sharp curve about a kilometer from its final destination, he added.

The road between Thung Thong police station and Patong was re-opened about 3pm after being blocked off by police following the accident. Traffic has returned to normal, commuters told the Gazette.

— Atchaa Khamlo


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