BY NOON, all the Russians had been treated and allowed to leave hospital. Remarkably, only two people - the Thai tour guide and the Thai driver of the car - had to be admitted as in-patients. Those on board escaped serious harm because the bus, travelling uphill, toppled over slowly onto its roof.
PHUKET: At least 19 people have been injured as a tourist bus flipped over onto its roof in a crash on the hilly coast road between the Phuket destinations of Kamala and Patong early today.
The bus was carrying arriving Russian tourists from Phuket International Airport to their holiday accommodation, police said.
More fortunate passengers were able to walk away. Early reports of 10 people being injured were boosted to about 20 soon after.
A spokesperson at Patong Hospital emergency, where the injured were being taken, said several people appeared to have been seriously hurt.
Some were immediately transferred to Vachira Phuket Hospital in Phuket City.
First reports said the bus and a car collided on the main road, flipping the Patong-bound bus over into an entranceway near the Kamala Falls estate.
The saloon car was also shunted off the roadway.
Passengers who walked away searched anxiously inside the upside down bus for signs that travelling companions were still alive.
At least two were initially trapped inside.
The crash came at 7.34am, near the Kamala Police Box, said rescue workers as they attempted to free the trapped passengers from the anex tour vehicle.
The Seven Days of Danger road safety campaign began on Phuket and throughout Thailand at midnight on Monday.
Phuket's hills test the skills of bus drivers and the condition of some buses that should be better maintained.