Songkran toll so far: 3 dead, 43 injured

PHUKET (Gazette, Nation): As of this morning, the death toll in Phuket for the government’s Songkran holiday road carnage accounting period stood at three dead and 43 injured.

Officials with the Phuket Office for Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (ODPM) Road Safety Center, who are keeping the statistics over the 10-day period from April 7 to 16, said there were 43 accidents reported in the province so far, with three fatalities from two collisions.

The first fatality occurred at about 6 am on Saturday, when 67-year-old Mhad Manabutra crashed his motorbike into his own home while drunk.

Then, at about 4:40 am on Sunday, on Route 4027 in Pa Khlok, a Nissan pickup truck hit a motorcycle driven by Ulai Netrapakdee, 33. Both K. Ulai and an unidentified female passenger were killed in the accident, which police described as a hit-and-run.

The ODPM has set a target for the province over the 10-day period of no more than four dead and no more than 53 injured badly enough to require admission to hospital.

Nine police checkpoints are being manned around-the-clock throughout the period, each staffed by at least 10 traffic police officers and volunteers.

Nationwide, road accidents claimed 110 lives and injured 1,260 during the first three days of the period.

Surasit Silpangam, manager of the Don’t Drive Drunk Foundation, called the number of casualties “unbelievable” and predicted the toll would rise because, he said, the road-safety campaign has been overshadowed by the recent political turmoil.

Nationwide, the number of accidents in the first three days was 1,130, down 4.4% on last year’s 1,182, said Deputy Interior Minister Sermsak Pongpanit, who is also Deputy Director of the National Road Safety Center.

Songkhla tops the list so far, with eight fatalities, K. Sermsak said. In second place is Chiang Mai, with five, followed by Chanthaburi, Chachoengsao, Nakhon Pathom and Phichit, with four apiece.

On Sunday alone, the third of the 10 days, there were 399 road accidents nationwide, in which 42 people were killed and 450 injured.

Phuket News
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