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On the verge: scene of the Phuket tour bus overturn on Patong Hill today

Phuket's Big Patong Hill Bus Crash: Photo Special

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Phuket Bus Crash: Photo Special

THE CRASH of a tour bus carrying pilgrims returning to Phuket left their personal possessions scattered along the Patong Hill roadside today.

With Phuket's major artery route blocked for about three hours, doctors at Patong Hospital and in other Phuket hospitals were coping with scores of injured.

Police said there were 53 passengers on the bus, including children aged two and three, along with the driver and a staff attendant. Forty-one were injured, three seriously.

Most of the travellers, returning from a farewell cremation for one of Thailand's best-known monks, were from Phuket.

Police believe one man is dead. Most of those on board were women.

The dramatic images above - we are adding more as they arrive - were taken by Phuketwan reporter Sert Tongdee. He was one of the first on the scene, with Phuketwan breaking the news of the crash.

Phuket's economic lifeline was cut when the tour bus overturned and slid off the Patong Hill road, onto an earthen shoulder verge, about 8.30am. The road - Phuket's main lifeline between Patong on the west coast and the Phuket City capital - was expected to be reopened about noon.
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