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Phuket officials plan B20mn ‘final solution’ for Patong Hill road

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket officials plan B20mn ‘final solution’ for Patong Hill road | The Thaiger

PHUKET: The section of hill road between Patong and Phuket Town that caved in during the heavy rain last week has received makeshift repairs and is now open to traffic, thanks to an emergency injection of cash from the Department of Highways.

The road was reopened after two days of reconstruction, explained Samak Luedwonghad, the director of the Department of Highways Phuket office.

“We received an emergency budget of about 100,000 baht from the Highways Department to fix the road temporarily. We started the repair work on August 22 and the road was reopened to traffic by August 24,” he said.

In making the temporary repairs, workers used rock as a base, as it’s durable and able to support heavy vehicles, Mr Samak explained.

“After that we added sand, crushed rock, crushed rock soil, gravel, laterite [clay-type soil abundant in Phuket] and then concreted over the surface,” he added.

Mr Samak admitted there would still be some road surface erosion during heavy rain, but he believes the surface will last until November, when a more lasting solution is planned.

“We have already applied for a budget of 20 million baht to make permanent repairs that will include installing a retaining wall along the side of the road to keep the earth underneath the tarmac in place,” he explained.

Mr Samak expects the money to be available by November 1 and work on the permanent solution to commence soon after.

“It’s a small but urgent construction project, so it shouldn’t take more than 150 days to complete,” he said.

In the long-term Mr Samak thinks the recurring road collapse problems on Patong Hill will be over once the Patong to Kathu road tunnel is completed.

“The number of cars on this road will decrease, and with it the wear and tear; meaning it can be used longer without repairs. However, the tunnel project hasn’t started yet, so our team still has to maintain the road to keep it in good condition,” he said.

The planned 20mn-baht project to repair the Patong Hill road follows similar repairs costing 5mn baht made just three years ago after a huge sinkhole opened at the same location.

Patong Mayor Pian Keesin, who is running for re-election this weekend, was driving along the road when the sinkhole appeared in 2009. He avoided plunging into the mini-abyss and called officials into action immediately.

Coincidentally, in the run-up to this weekend’s election in Patong, Mayor Pian has championed the Patong Tunnel project, which is expected to cost up to 6 billion baht.

— Orawin Narabal



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Phuket

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

A Thai man has been shot dead near Saphan Hin in eastern Phuket earlier today. The arrest warrant has already been issued for the suspect.

The Wichit Police were notified of the incident on Rattanakosin 200 pi Road near Saphan Hin at 3.40am this morning.

Police and rescue workers arrived to find the body of 30 year old Teerasak Saeong from Phuket covered with blood and laying on the road. Two bullet wounds were found on his right and left temple.

Seven bullets were also found around Mr Teerasak’s body. Nearby they found a motorbike. His body was taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital for full autopsy and identification.

Witnesses told police that Mr Teerasak was stopped on his motorbike and was talking with the suspect who was in a black car. The suspect shot at Mr Teerasak and sped away.

Mr Teerasak was the son of a member of Rassada’s Municipal Council. At this stage police believe that the two had personal conflicts. Police are now searching for the driver of the vehicle who shot Mr Teerasak.

Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger Police searching for the killer after shooting near Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | The Thaiger

A male Danish tourist, driving a motorbike, has died after colliding with a truck in front of a market in Kathu.

The Kathu Police were notified of the incident on Phra Phuket Keaw Road in front of the new outdoor Vintage Market in Kathu at 3am yesterday morning.

Police and Kusoldharm rescue workers arrived at the U-turn to find the truck and driver waiting. The driver of the truck was 36 year old Sontaya Suchata waiting in the middle of the U-turn area.

Nearby they found a damaged Honda PCX and 51 year old Claus Pathuel Jensen, a Danish national from Glostrup. He was found unconscious under the truck. He was rushed to Vachira Phuket Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.

Police report that the truck was going to take a U-turn outside the market area. The truck driver says he was unaware that Mr Jensen was coming from behind in the right lane. The motorbike was unable to avoid the collision with the truck and Mr Jensen PCX ploughed into the rear of the vehicle.

Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger Danish tourist dies in Phuket road accident | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days

Kritsada Mueanhawong

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Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook/Claire Johnson

An Australian woman, who was caught overstaying her visa by 111 days, will be released from detention and deported by Thai authorities tonight.

She came to the media’s attention on Monday after sending urgent messages to a friend saying that she was being taken to a detention centre and that “they are taking my phone”.

46 year old Claire Amelia Johnson is an Australian Gold Coast resident. She will depart Bangkok on a QANTAS flight scheduled to arrive in Sydney tomorrow (Friday) morning.

She was due to return to Australia more than a week ago but on Monday evening sent messages to her friend Juliet Potter and told her that she was in an immigration detention centre in Bangkok and begged her to please “help me”.

Read The Thaiger story about her desperate pleas HERE.

Ms Johnson had been running a medical tourism business called Cosmetic Holidays International that offered cosmetic packages in Phuket”.

The business was voluntarily deregistered with the Australian Securities Commission in May 2017, after five years of operation, but her social media accounts continued to promote her cosmetic-surgery tourism business.

Thailand’s immigration chief, Surachate Hakparn, told Australia’s Fairfax media that Ms Johnson had been arrested, as well as fined, and would be deported after overstaying her tourist visa by more than 100 days.

“My Immigration Department will send her to Australia. She leaves tonight.”

Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would say only that it was “providing consular assistance to an Australian woman detained in Thailand”, without naming Claire.

Australian woman deported for overstaying visa by over 100 days | News by The Thaiger

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