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A villager tends an injured tourist after a minibus crash in December

Horrific Crash Kills 16 on Bus Bound for Phuket

Saturday, June 6, 2009
SIXTEEN PEOPLE died after a bus crashed as they were travelling to Phuket to visit drug-free villages on the island, police said today.

Another 36 passengers were seriously injured when the vehicle, the eighth of 12 buses in a convoy, skidded off the road and ploughed into a tree then overturned.

The incident came about 6am on Friday on Road No. 415 in Krabi's Plai Phraya as the buses, laden with hundreds of teachers, housewives, local administration officials and public health volunteers, made their way from the province of Samut Prakan to visit Phuket.

Officials from Samut Prakan were working with the Krabi Provincial Administration Organisation today to identify the dead and injured.

Twelve of the dead are reported to have been killed at the scene, with another four dying in hospital.

The scale of the horrific crash points towards the need for improved safety checks. Drivers of some vehicles, especially minivans, sometimes stay at the wheel for days on end if extra work is available.

Police believe the driver in this case may have fallen asleep, but Samut Prakan governor Kwanchai Wongnitikorn said he had been told that a tyre on the bus exploded.

Safety should be made a top priority on long-haul trips, not to mention ensuring that the vehicles were in roadworthy condition and the drivers were in good health, the governor said.

The road was wet at the time.

Phuketwan was on the scene of a mini-van crash in Phang Nga, on the way to Krabi, in which a tourist group of Singaporeans were injured recently.

The improved roads on the run to Phang Nga and Krabi mean higher speeds and greater risks if something goes wrong.

Last November during the blockade at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, Phuketwan encountered mini-van drivers who were capitalising on the lack of flights by driving backwards and forwards between the capital and Phuket without a break.

Bus Crash Photo Album

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


What a waste of life. Does nobody care about the safety of people ... well, welcome to Thailand, where you can drive how you like. When will the Police actually police? When will traffic laws ever be enforced and when will the driving standards be improved to teach people how to drive properly and with consideration ... a word unheard of if your a taxi or minibus driver. Wake up, for the sake of human lives!

Posted by Noddy on June 7, 2009 20:42


Hey Noddy life is cheap here. To understand drivers read this article from Phuket post:-

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Madness

THERE are two things about Thailand that are totally incomprehensible to westerners:
Buddhism and road rules.

The two are inextricably linked, and by understanding one, you gain insight into the other.

Western religions are burdened with the concept of opposites such as good and evil, heaven and hell, and light and dark.

Buddhism recognises the inherent one-ness of all things and sees these supposed opposites as facets of the unity and totality of existence.

To follow the way of the Thai driver, you too must cast off these illusions of duality, such as the duality of two traffic lanes moving in opposite directions.

The Thai driver sees both lanes as part of the one road, and both directions as an expression of the eternal flow of all things.

When you have grasped this concept, you will then understand why Thais so naturally swerve into oncoming traffic to overtake, and why they are completely serene
as they travel along a busy road the wrong way.

It is because there is no wrong way, only 'The Way'.

It's the same with traffic lights.

To the enlightened Buddhist driver, red and green are not different colours, but simply different ways of seeing the same traffic light.

Unlearn such deceptive Western notions as right of way' and your inner eye will open, which is the only way to proceed through an intersection in Thailand.

In Thailand, existence is not seen as a linear progression from birth to death, but rather as an endless cycle of life, death and rebirth.

As one's soul gains experience and enlightenment from each lifetime, that soul is reincarnated into yet another lifetime until Nirvana is achieved and he, or she, escapes from this eternal cycle into a state of perpetual bliss.

You never die, because life is a mere Honda Dream.

Instead, you simply pass into another life for another chance to attain the wisdom necessary for enlightenment.

You should also never fear death, even when careening along a twisty Phuket highway at 200km an hour with a bottomless chasm yawning right next to the road.

This life will end when it is time, and no matter how often you check your mirrors, a pick-up truck can come screaming up from behind and make that time now.

Accept this as inevitable, and you will be free to follow the way of the Thai driver, overtaking on blind corners and driving in the rain at breakneck speeds without a helmet.

Those who wish to spend a little longer in this lifetime should be especially careful when driving past Buddhist temples, because those drivers coming out have probably just made merit and may be looking for reincarnation while the getting is good.

Be like the water, which is the essence of all life and, as such, has many lessons to teach us.

Water can fit into any container and seep through even the smallest crack, and so too can the Thai driver.

He can manoeuvre into any space between two speeding vehicles, no matter how small or inconvenient it may be, or at what speed he is travelling.

When confronted by an obstacle, water does not stop, but flows around the obstacle, never losing momentum.

So, too must you.

When someone along life's highway has stopped in the middle of the road to smell the roses, or pick up some fried chicken, you must flow around the obstacle, never stopping your harmonious movement.

Patience is also necessary when leaving a car park and turning across an oncoming lane of vehicles.

You must slowly edge onto the road, keeping an eye out for even the tiniest cracks in the teeming traffic.

What is the sound of one horn honking?

As you travel the road to enlightenment, you will ponder this repeatedly, because it is a sound you will hear quite a bit.

The answer is childishly simple.

It depends on how many times it honks.

One honk indicate that someone is overtaking or coming through, while a series of several honks is meant as a warning to anyone stupid enough to get in the way.

There is also the puzzle of the turn signal.

A blinking left indicator can mean the driver is about to make a left turn, or it an mean he is about to make a right turn or no turn at all.

Understanding intractable questions like these is the secret to mastering the way of the Thai road.

Posted by mouse on June 9, 2009 08:12


After all these recent horrifying accidents, the authorities of Thailand and Phuket should do something drastic .Bring in traffic lights, crossings, and why not radars ? Police controls and big fines would help . It would also save the rapidly declining reputation of Thailand as a holiday paradise.

Posted by elizabeth on June 10, 2009 17:37

Friday May 24, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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