Phuket

Phuket Reporters Club President dies in car crash

PHUKET: Phuket Reporters Club President Thongtuan Sukmuang and four fellow Thai Rath newspaper reporters died in a fiery road accident in Narathiwat about midday yesterday.

Khun Thongtuan, 51, and his colleagues were on their way to Narathiwat for the funeral of fellow reporter Chalee Boonsawat, who died in the August 21 insurgent car bomb attack in Sungai Kolok.

Their van overturned after hitting a tree in Yingor district about midday, according to initial reports.

The vehicle, which according to some reports was fitted with LPG tanks, hit a tree and burst into flames.

There have been no reports thus far linking the accident to insurgent activity.

Also killed were Haad Yai-based reporters Thepnarong Viriyakul, Sumolrat Viriyakul and Sudjai Jittakan and Trang-based reporter Natthapan Saengkaew.

Five other reporters in the van โ€” including Phang Nga-based reporters Bunnarak Jittawanantaprawat, Premchan Thaitaweewong and Pramote Kulthanawatchara โ€” suffered serious injuries and are being treated in the ICU at Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Hospital.

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