Six dead, 520 hurt during Songkhran

PHUKET: Six people died in traffic accidents in Phuket during the Songkhran holiday, according to statistics compiled from all of the island’s hospitals. In addition, 520 people were injured in traffic accidents. “Ninety percent of the accidents involved motorbikes, and most occurred between the evening of April 13 and the early morning of April 14,” Ampaipan Pawawattananusorn of the Phuket Provincial Health Office told the Gazette. “Most were teenagers, and some had been driving drunk,” she added. The number of people killed and injured was very close to last year’s figure of six dead and 439 injured, but sharply higher than in 1999, when three people died in road accidents and 155 were injured. Nationwide, at least 489 people were reported killed and 38,651 injured during the festivities, according to a government statement issued yesterday. In the statement, Deputy Health Minister Surapong Suebwonglee said the festive period toll was expected to climb as people began to return home from the provinces for the first working day of the new year tomorrow. “The accidents seem to be spread across all provinces, happening at a rate of about 4.9 deaths and 285 injured every hour,” he said, adding that at least 70% of the patients treated by nurses and doctors this year were drunk. By comparison, noted Surapong, last year’s nationwide Songkhran death toll was 164.

Phuket News
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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