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Phuket storm topples marquee at festival, man crushed by speakers



PHUKET: A Phuket Town motorbike taxi driver died after strong wind toppled a marquee covering the stage at Saphan Hin last night, sending speakers crashing down on him.

Police and rescue workers arrived at the 10th Annual Southern Prison Products Fair (story here) at about 7:45pm to find Muhammad Poksakul, a 62-year-old motorbike driver at the nearby Phun Pol Night Plaza, dead from head trauma.

“Witnesses told police Mr Muhammad brought a chair to sit close to the stage so he could be protected from the rain,” said Capt Udom Petcharat of Phuket City Police.

“Then a strong gust of wind pulled down the awning covering the stage. As it collapsed, scaffolding knocked a large stack of speakers about 10 meters high onto Mr Muhammad, knocking him to the ground,” he added.

“It seems he died instantly,” Capt Udom said.

Meanwhile, across town at a housing estate on Palien Road, strong wind toppled a large tree, causing damage to eight units of terraced houses.

No injuries were reported in the incident.

“Residents were evacuated to safe houses and we will send officers to inspect the damage and to estimate what repairs need to be made,” said Tawatchai Thongmung, chief administrative officer at Phuket City Municipality.

Nanthira Bamrungsuk, 64, said she was out collecting her niece from an after school tutoring class when the tree came crashing down.

“Normally, there are four people at home, but luckily no one was home when the tree fell,” she said.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


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