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A  person  trapped in a vehicle swiped by a bus crashing on Patong Hill

Phuket Tourist Bus Crash: Two Dead, Others Injured in Patong Hill Smash

Sunday, December 29, 2013
Today's Updating News Report

PHUKET: At least two people are dead and an unknown number injured after a bus crashed down Patong Hill on Phuket into a power pole this afternoon.

Russian tourists were believed to have been on the bus - including children.

Only motorcycles were being allowed to cross the hill in either direction late this afternoon as wrecked vehicles were being cleared.

First images from the scene soon after 3pm showed the bus badly damaged with dead or seriously injured inside. Other vehicles were crushed by the bus.

The crash came outside Wat Suwan Khiriwong - commonly known as Patong Temple - at the base of a steep slope where many buses have previously crashed into nearby homes and shops.

Cars, pickups and motorcycles appeared to have been shunted aside as the bus plunged downhill. At least one person appeared to be dead inside a battered vehicle.

Phuket provincial PR officer Sophon Keawkan said he believed there were two people killed in the crash. It is believed they were a Thai man and a foreign woman.

Others were ferried to Patong Hospital.

The spectacular crash came on the third day of the 'Seven Days of Danger' national road safety campaign for New Year in which two Phuket motorcyclists had already been killed in separate smashes in the early morning.

Motorists were being advised to take alternative routes between Patong and Phuket City on one of the busiest days on the roads for the year.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Not again ! Wow this time of the year should be called Banger Season. I was mistaken, I always thought that it was the old year that went out with a bang. Since moving here, nine years now, I realise it's peoples lives that go out with a bang. Condolences to family and friends of the newly departed and now will someone in authority in Thailand, actually stop this killing please?

Posted by Robin on December 29, 2013 16:20


This happens all the time but yet no action to avoid it... to not have a driving license in Thailand the fine is 300 bath ONLY, even tho u get the fine ur allowed to drive the next 24 hour only with the fine as a ticket..

Posted by frog on December 29, 2013 16:26


No way can they say mechanical/break failure, we were told these vehicles would be checked, by police, for safety before going up Patong Hill.

Posted by Laurie Howells on December 29, 2013 16:34


Looking on the roadsize, in Patong, Karon, Kata,how about limiting the size to mini buses, max 10 people, include driver?
I know, no 'real' bus operator will go for it. They wouldn't only loose the 'last mile', they would even loose the commission business on the other side. But for the safety, it would be a big step forward. Till now, it's only read 'safety first'. When they start following the motto?
And only one death? Lucky 'number'!

Posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2013 16:44


Sad to hear people are killed and hurt again at this road.
We have been in the middle of a similar accident on 18th. December where a Gasoline 10 wheel truck took out our and 10 other cars near this temple(not reported in the news)

What a mess it was... the truck was only insured for THB 600,000.- and almost no responsibility shown by the truck owner.

Posted by Mr. K on December 29, 2013 16:44


Do the drivers come down the hill too fast to downshift when their brakes fail ? It does seem like a race to get to the bottom sometimes. Very dangerous route for large vehicles .

Posted by carvets on December 29, 2013 17:10


How much common sense would it take to eliminate ALL buses using that overpass? Let just vans go... sure it's a pain in the arse, but holy Christ already. How many people have to die on this hill?

Posted by Vern L on December 29, 2013 17:27


Stop this crazy van drivers, authorities dont care, money money.

Posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2013 17:37


39 killed yesterday in Thailand's "7 days of danger". Sad to see Patong adding to this total today.
With at best an ineffective government, the carnage is just going to get worse and worse.
Be careful out there. Keep your distance from large vehicles and crazies, drunk in charge of pickups!

Posted by jimbo34 on December 29, 2013 17:41


Very sad...but, you never know when your breaks fail. And when they in trouble on those hills. I'm sure, That driver try to do everything he can to avoid that accident and make sure, that all the customer survives.

Posted by Anonymous on December 29, 2013 22:57


Install GPS tracking systems in all Buses, Minibuses, Tuk Tuks, Car Taxi's & Motorcycle Taxi's.

Especially with Visa-Run Minibuses driver's.


Using a Tracking System to monitor these vehicle's would warn of speeding, manage driver behavior, ensure safety is priority & provide accurate information to the police, insurance companies & families.

Isn't it the companies number priority & duty of care & safety comes first...???

It's simple: Safety = Trust
No Trust = NO Customer

Driver's in Thailand think they are B-Ball racers from the Fast & Furious movies, it's that simple.

Why pay ?????? 4,000 to a Visa-Run Minibus company for the Phuket to Penang, Malaysia run? If you are not going to make your destination alive on a round trip.

Our driver was traveling an average 130km - 150km & tailgating other vehicles most of the way. A girl in the front seat asked him to slow down because she was scared, he laughed & went faster & became more reckless.

He said "Buddha will look after him", what about other people & not just the selfish driver.

People's biggest concern while on holiday is safety. What gives the right for a reckless, "cowboy" driver's to take an innocent person's life?

My first experience in June 2013, going on several daily tours I had 5 extremely unprofessional & reckless "cowboy" driver's.

From the reckless "cowboy" taxi driver's at Phuket airport to the reckless "cowboy" taxi driver's from the tour companies.

Posted by ZJ on December 29, 2013 23:08


Why do they let heavy vehicles drive this dangerous road. They always seames to have problem with brakes or does not have the force to drive up the hill. Make them take another way!

Posted by Anonymous on December 30, 2013 00:33



Can you print the list of bus crash casualties or where it can be found ?

Posted by Anonymous on December 30, 2013 01:57

Editor Comment:

See our updated article.


Let's put the authorities who's responsible for the traffic on each bus that's in traffic on the island and have them go down that hill to check the breaks. Maybe, maybe than it'll be changes.

Posted by Nicke on December 30, 2013 10:30


Seen 5 accidents, 2 fatal, in the past 2 days! Saw a 3 car pile up just three minutes after leaving Phuket airport. It's insane. Why are people doing this to each other?

Posted by Paul on December 31, 2013 15:26


there should build the tunnel now

Posted by bobby on January 2, 2014 07:32


Actually, the road down the hill is a very short distance. Even if the driver is a total novice and "rides the brakes" all the way down from Sea Pearl Villas, the brakes on any half-decent bus should be able to cope with it. So the buses are clearly not up to standard. It's not like you are going downhill for hours and hours, where engine braking is essential.

Posted by christian on January 2, 2014 07:54


There's another factor in bus safety. Many of the tourist buses do not come from a factory.

There has long been an industry in Thailand assembling tourist buses from used components. The front and rear chassis sub-assemblies including the suspension and brakes, were imported, usually from Japan, attracting low import duties. Chassis beams from an old bus chassis are welded to join the front and rear units, usually extending the chassis length to 12 metres. A body is built on the chassis. Then an engine and gearbox, often used, are fitted.

The extended length and height, heavier body, air-conditioning system and luxury trim may raise the weight of the vehicle substantially over the weight originally carried by the chassis.
The result may be a bus that costs a small fraction of an imported factory-made bus and is reasonably safe operating on flat roads around Bangkok, but does not have the braking power, or engine power to operate over steep gradients. Stability is also an issue. The very smart outward appearance of the locally constructed body and paint does not reflect the quality of the vehicle.

Posted by Jonas on January 2, 2014 11:14


One soultion might be he involve an experienced co-driver from the Land Transport Office
for the section of road over Patong Hill.

The co-driver would get into the bus at the Thung Thong police checkpoint.
All the way he would sit next to the driver and politely advise his failings and lack of

The Land Transport officer would similarly return to the checkpoint via another bus,
near the temple at the bottom of Patong Hill.

This should be done each and every time even if the driver has had previous co-driver
The idea is not to obtain a certificate of paper.

Hopefully this would really educate the drivers as well as preventing accidents, and
maybe it would also be culturally acceptable.

It just requires a small (brave ?) experienced team from the Land Transport Office.

Posted by wyn on January 2, 2014 17:57


@wyn "All the way he would sit next to the driver and politely advise his failings and lack of
experience." You have no idea, what face in Phuket means, and what the 'friendly adviser' would better not do.
Besides that, no one of the Land transport office would go with a fully loaded charter bus over that hilltop!

Posted by Anonymous on January 2, 2014 20:22

Wednesday July 17, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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