Violent dispute between van drivers shocks tourists at Phuket Airport

An alarming event unfolded at the Phuket International Airport recently, where a violent dispute erupted between two van drivers. The altercation unfolded before a crowd of tourists and was vividly captured in a video that has subsequently circulated widely on social media. The incident occurred in the early evening, prompting a swift response from the police who were promptly alerted

Sakhu police, led by Police Captain Kornphumphot Pongpaiboon, arrived on the scene to find the two drivers, identified as 34 year old Songsak Gasman and 40 year old Kiattisak Tharaporn. Both men were taken to Thalang Hospital for a thorough physical checkup as part of the ongoing investigation.

The viral video footage reveals a white van pulling up at the airport’s departure terminal. Songsak, the driver, steps out to unload the luggage. Shortly after, a silver van arrives in the adjacent lane, and Kiattisak, its driver, gets out and heads directly towards Songsak.

The video documents a brief exchange of words before Kiattisak abruptly kicks Songsak in the stomach. A second kick sends Songsak sprawling on the ground, and he manages to block a third attempt, retreating from his attacker. Kiattisak continues his pursuit but a missed kick results in him falling to the ground, enabling Songsak to escape into the terminal building.

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Songsak later recounted that the conflict originated while both vans were on Soi Bang Ma Lao Soi 6, near the entrance to The Slate Hotel. He claimed that Kiattisak accused him of cutting him off, an allegation Songsak vehemently denies. This disagreement escalated, with Kiattisak following Songsak to the airport.

The incident has sparked further critique of the behaviour of local taxi and van drivers in Phuket. Another incident reported by the Phuket Info Center has added fuel to the fire.

Taxi Driver

In this instance, a passenger was dropped off at a renowned restaurant in Pasak Soi 8, Cherng Talay, by a licensed app taxi. A van subsequently blocked her exit, and a man, presumed to be a local taxi driver, approached her vehicle.

Upon noticing the woman filming the incident on her phone, the man threatened her before attempting to open the car door. After failing to gain entry, he broke off a windshield wiper and walked away.

The woman has since lodged an official complaint with the Cherng Talay police, intensifying the scrutiny of the conduct of local transportation providers in Phuket. As investigations continue, it remains to be seen what actions will be taken to address these incidents that challenge the island’s reputation as a tourist-friendly destination, reported Phuket News.

Crime NewsPhuket News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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