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Tour of Thailand official slams into power pole during Phuket storm



PHUKET: An official of the Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Cup Tour of Thailand 2013 cycling event, whose riders were in Phuket earlier this week (story here), was injured when his pickup truck slid off the road during the storm yesterday afternoon and slammed into a power pole.

Surasak Ritphirat, 39, suffered a head wound in the impact and was rushed to Thalang Hospital.

“The accident happened at about 4:15pm,” Tah Chat Chai Police duty officer Watcharin Jiratikarnwiwat told the Phuket Gazette this morning.

“Mr Surasak was driving back to Bangkok after the competition finished. He lost control of his pickup about 500 meters north of the Tah Chat Chai police checkpoint and slammed into a power pole by the side of the road,” he added.

“We believe the accident was caused by the road being slippery since it was raining hard yesterday afternoon,” Lt Col Watcharin explained.

Mr Surasak was pinned inside the vehicle, requiring rescue workers to use “jaws of life” hydraulic cutting equipment to free him from the wreck.

“It took about 30 minutes for the equipment to be brought from Phuket Town. After it arrived, the rescue workers took about 10 minutes to free him,” Col Watcharin said.

Mr Surasak suffered a cut on his head, but escaped serious injury, Thalang Hospital staff confirmed to the Gazette this morning.

“His condition is improving. He suffered a cut on his head and his right leg is still numb as it was pinned inside the car, but x-rays show that he did not suffer any serious injuries to any other parts of his body,” the staffer said.

“He will be kept under observation for another 24 hours,” she said.

— Thawit Bilabdullar


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