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Four young friends from Sweden are on their journey home from Phuket

Phuket Farewells Four Young Swedes on Their Final Flight Home

Wednesday, February 8, 2012
PHUKET: It was the start of the journey home from Phuket. Inevitably, it will be a sad journey, and a sorrowful homecoming.

The bodies of the four young Swedes who were killed in a crash last week will be placed on a flight from Phuket to Bangkok tonight.

Then it will be a matter of connecting with an aircraft bound for Stockholm.

Most of us know that sudden death can strike at any time but to lose five young people all at once, needlessly, strikes at the heart.

The fatal collision was especially tragic because the stretch of highway north of Phuket, where their car was hit by a runaway truck, is about as safe as a road can be in Thailand.

Chance was the added factor. Along that road at 7am any morning, vehicles are relatively rare. To be hit by a runaway truck that crossed a grassy divider and became airborne . . . explanations are difficult, if not impossible.

We paid our last respects today at the small morgue behind Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City. A team of morticians had been despatched from Bangkok by the Swedish Embassy to make sure everything was in order.

It's a peaceful street. Occasionally, tourists flash by in open-air tuk-tuk taxis, on their way to a hillside Buddhist temple nearby. Monks in saffron and nuns in white, under parasols, stroll by.

Opposite the morgue is a convenience store where it is just as easy to buy an ornate coffin as a cool drink.

What distinguishes Thailand most from Sweden is a lack of money for health and welfare and essential services, so the morgue at Vachira Phuket is largely an outdoor affair.

Motorcyclists from the hospital use the morgue entrance as a quick way in or out at lunchtime. Staff are accustomed to seeing caskets in the open.

It's a brilliant blue-sky Phuket day today, just perfect for the kind of diving trip the holiday-making Swedish couples had been enjoying before they made their final ride in a hire car off Phuket.

But as we now know, fate, unreasoning and unfair as it is, can strike out of the blue, just as it did last week.

The young Swedes - Johan Olof Nikolas Svensson, 22, Frida Madeleine Falk, 22, Anders Tobias Larsson, 22, and Elin Marita Hedbris, 21 - are on their way home now.

Thai driver Wichit Phromluang, 26, has already been farewelled in a Buddhist cremation at his home province, in northern Thailand..

The four holiday-making friends are now destined to be companions in death, as in life, on one final journey.

Comments

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"The Lord is my shepherd, therefore can I lack nothing.
He shall feed me in a green pasture, and lead me forth beside the waters of comfort.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou
art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me."

Vila i frid, vackra unga manniskor (rest in peace, beautiful young people.)

Posted by Bo on February 8, 2012 15:04

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How terribly sad it is that Phuket authority has the view of make money at all costs. What does it mean to care? It means in my view that we respect all human life and we care for their well-being. Phuket I am sad to say has lost this viewpoint and now it is just about money, money, money.
I find so terribly sad that we send happy holidaymakers to island home in caskets or paper urns. Somebody must be able to enforce laws and regulations here, or we will all suffer. It is not the roads that are bad, only the road users that are bad mannered or they flaunt the laws of road. We have become a nation of " Me first" you don't matter.
R.I.P. young ones.

Posted by Robin on February 8, 2012 15:11


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