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Two dead, many injured in Phuket school van crash

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Two dead, many injured in Phuket school van crash | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A three-vehicle collision near the Heroines’ Monument in Phuket left two dead and many injured this morning.

The two dead were staff members at the well-known Muslim Witthaya School in Koh Kaew.

Police identified one the deceased as 54-year-old Phang Nga resident San Thasai, driver of a school van transporting young school students from their homes in Baan Bang Khli in Phang Nga’s Tai Muang District.

Also killed was Oranong Junthanit, who was sitting in the back row of the van.

A member of the school’s finance division, Mrs Oranong also served as chaperone to the young students on their way to school.

At about 6:30am, the van was heading southbound on Thepkrasattri Road as normal when it was involved in a collision with a pickup truck laden with watermelons, durian and other fruit.

The exact details of the situation leading to the crash are still under investigation, but the impact of the collision caused the pickup to overturn, spilling its cargo onto the road.

The accident occurred in the southbound lane, near the U-turn north of the monument.

The third vehicle in the crash was a motorbike that ended up in a drainage ditch. The female driver was sent to Mission Hospital for minor injuries.

Miraculously, none of the young students inside the van were seriously injured in the crash. More than 10 students were in the van.

The driver of the pickup and his one passenger also escaped without serious injury.

However, most of the people involved in the accident were taken to hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

A rescue worker at the scene said the carnage could have been far worse if the children had been traveling by songthew (modified pickup) instead of a van, as the children would have been thrown forward into the back of the cab at high speed.

The van seats cushioned the impact and allowed most of the child passengers to escape with cuts and bruises, he said.

The accident caused long tailbacks on Thepkrasattri Road throughout the morning.

In another road accident death in Thalang last night, a man was killed instantly when he was hit by a car on the road from Heroines’ Monument to Pa Khlok, near the Sitthisoonthorn Bamroong School in Baan Phakcheed.

Witnesses said the man came to a mom-and-pop store at the scene to buy alcohol.

Learning that the shop did not sell spirits, he tried to cross the road to buy from a shop across the street, they said.

He died instantly of massive head trauma when he was hit by a Honda City.

The force of the impact left the windshield shattered and bloodstained.

When police led by Thalang Police Duty Officer Praman Yomkaphan arrived at the scene, they found the car parked by the side of the road and the female driver crying.

The deceased had no identification and local residents had no idea who he was.

Police turned the body over to Kusoldharm Foundation workers who took it to the Thalang Hospital morgue.

Anyone who may know the identity of the deceased is urged to call Thalang Police at 076-311123.

— Wichai Witthawat

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

Phuket

Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis

Caitlin Ashworth

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Phuket workshop helps residents cope with high stress brought on by the economic crisis | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Facebook: ประชาสัมพันธ์ เทศบาลตำบลวิชิต

Hundreds of residents in Phuket’s Wichit subdistrict attended a workshop focused on reducing stress from to the pandemic-induced economic crisis. A psychologist was even on site to help those who had extreme mental stress and a Buddhist monk taught meditation techniques to reduce physiological effects of stress.

The event was planned in response to an online survey conducted by the municipality asking residents about how much stress they were experiencing from the economic climate. They found that some residents had serious stress issues brought on by the pandemic and financial problems, according to Wichit Mayor Kreetha Chotiwichphiphat.

“The loss of income due to the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 situation has resulted in some people in the area suffering serious stress, which can lead to serious mental health issues.”

Around 350 people attended the event. The mayor says it was the first step in caring for the residents’ mental health. Local officials plan to hold similar workshops in the future.

“It was a good opportunity for people to realise the importance of mental health and to learn techniques of how to deal with stress, which will help people to maintain their physical health and avoid developing mental health problems.”

SOURCE: Phuket News

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Phuket

Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter

The Thaiger

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Phuket’s Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | The Thaiger

The Soi Dog Foundation has officially opened its Humane Education Centre, the first of its kind in Thailand dedicated to the welfare of stray animals. The centre, located at the Soi Dog shelter in northern Phuket, forms part of the foundation’s Humane Education program. Rolled out in 2017, the program sees a team visit Thai schools to teach the next generation the basic principles of animal welfare and promote empathetic attitudes towards both owned pets and free-roaming strays.

The program has reached a total of 15,058 students and 861 teachers to date. With a dedicated classroom as well as educational tools and resources now on site at the shelter, Soi Dog will be able to expand the programme and reach an even greater number of young minds.

Co-founder and president of Soi Dog Foundation International John Dalley said, “The cornerstones of what we do – what I believe very firmly are the answers to the stray dog problem throughout Asia – are large-scale sterilisation of stray dogs and cats and education of, particularly, the next generation.

“We see all the time the problems that are being caused through us not respecting the environment and not respecting the other animals with whom we share this planet. That’s why education is so important.”

John also thanked the supporters and donors who made the construction of the centre possible. After cutting the ribbon, the students filed into the brand-new facility for the very first on-site class – a fun and interactive hour of roleplaying, brainstorming and problem solving.

Humane Education Manager Nuttawut “Film” Kumngern. said… “We want to encourage kindness toward animals, especially free-roaming dogs and cats, and teach youngsters to be responsible pet owners. This will sustainably reduce animal cruelty and pet abandonment.”

“We hope to one day see animal welfare incorporated into the curriculum in Thai schools, and our education centre is a great start.”

Soi Dog is ready to welcome school groups from Phuket and other provinces to the centre which can accommodate up to 40 students at any one time. Schools interested in participating are encouraged to email film@soidog.org

Phuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The ThaigerPhuket's Soi Dog Foundation opens Humane Education Centre at Mai Khao shelter | News by The Thaiger

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International Schools

Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket

The Thaiger

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Police have yet to investigate illegal hiring of foreign teachers at international school in Phuket | The Thaiger

Chalong police in Phuket say they have yet to start investigating the illegal hiring of foreign teachers at an international school in Rawai, south of the island. Palm House International School allegedly hired foreign teachers illegally in which 2 were arrested by Phuket Immigration police on November 4.

Somkiet Sarasin, the leading investigator of the case, says the 2 Brits were informed that police were processing a charge of working illegally in the country against them, in which both denied the charges. Somkiet says the 2 were released on bail, but did not confirm the amount of bail that was set by the police.

“They are still staying in Thailand. I am not worried. I have their passports. I am not available to explain [any details] because the investigation is still ongoing.”

“This is normal for an investigation when the suspects deny the charge against them. I have to check more information against their claims. This case will probably be concluded next month.”

However, the investigation has yet to begin, with Somkiet saying he has not even questioned the owner of the school, despite his claims the case would be finished next month.

“The investigation into the school will take time. The investigation into the two British people must be finished first.”

Such allegations of foreign teachers working illegally have recently been in the news after Sarasas Witaed Sainoi Pitiyakarn School, in the central province of Nonthaburi, saw 7 foreign teachers probed for being hired illegally. That school, along with others in its private network, made nationwide news after CCTV caught a Thai teacher hitting, pushing and dragging a young student in the classroom. Such widespread violence against students has long been a sad component of many Thai schools, in which some of the teachers are unqualified and unlicensed to teach, but are hired anyway.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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