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Police inside the Thalang station await developments with a mob outside

700 Army, Police Reinforcements Called onto Phuket as Big Crowd Surrounds Police Station

Saturday, October 10, 2015
PHUKET: Up to 700 police and Army reinforcements from neighboring provinces were being called to Phuket tonight as about 500 protesters surrounded a police station and drunks talked about setting fire to it.

The Police Commander of Region 8 - the headquarters recently moved from Nakkon Si Thammarat to Phuket - told Phuketwan tonight that hundreds of police commandos and Army from the neighboring provinces of Phang Nga and Krabi would be trucked to the scene before midnight.

''There are serious threats to the safety of people so we hope to have hundreds of police and Army soldiers on the spot shortly,'' said Lt General Tesa Siriwato.

Instead of the protest over the needless deaths of two young men earlier in the day being dealt with quickly, Phuket officials allowed a crowd outside Thalang Police Station in central Phuket to grow, and eventually the gathering became so large that the main road leading to Phuket International Airport became blocked.

Photographs sent from inside the police station show Thalang police taking shelter on the upper floor, uncertain what to do as the angry local crowd swelled to several hundred between 5pm and 10pm.

Windows were being broken and drunken people in the crowd were calling for violence. Members of the media were being threatened if they took photographs or video footage.

Two young men aged 17 and 22 died earlier in the day when their motorcycle crashed. The pair, suspected of having illegal drugs, rode off after being stopped by a police patrol.

The patrol called in assistance and one of the cars trying to cut off the two young men on the motorcycle was connected in some way to the crash that killed them both.

Video from the scene indicated they had hit a pole or a wall, somewhere on the road to the Ton Sai waterfall in eastern Phuket.

The demonstration outside Thalang Police Station grew into one of the ugliest crowd protests that Phuket has seen for some time.

When the military took charge of Thailand in May, 2014, the people who triggered three street protests on Phuket in the previous year or so were all arrested.

The word quickly spread that mass protests on the streets would no longer be tolerated.

The mystery is why there was no intervention from a senior Phuket administrator early in the evening, before traffic to and from Phuket International Airport slowed and eventually stopped.

The Phuketwan news service is closing from December 31.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Sounds like the plot of a blockbuster movie... suspense is thick... too bad it's true!

Posted by J on October 10, 2015 22:52

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Phuket News has pics of the new Governor in the station during daylight hours trying to calm the scene.

Posted by SamC on October 10, 2015 23:21

Editor Comment:

The Governor was at the station briefly early in the day then had to catch a flight to Bangkok. His efforts at appeasement appear to have failed.

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Aleady ther is video of the mass protest and ladies that argue in front of police man standing at the entrance of Police station on the web..

Posted by rich on October 11, 2015 09:40

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Why do reinforcements have to be trucked 5 hours? Where is the airlift capacity of the Thai military? Once again, no helicopters available. A Eurocopter can land 20+ troops quickly. All that was were 100 or so properly trained personnel and the mob of 500 would have been easily managed. Once again, poor planning, poor training and poor equipment purchase decisions have an impact. Less spending on golf courses and submarines and more spending on public safety needs please.

Posted by Ryan on October 11, 2015 22:41


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