Ten people were killed and 17 others injured when a Bangkok to Koh Phangan tour bus skidded off the Surat Thani-Nakhon Si Thammarat highway and rammed a large power post in tambon Takhian Thong of Kanchanadit district early Tuesday morning, police said.
Police said the bus left Bangkok at 7.30pm on Monday with 24 passengers and three crew members, bound for Koh Phangan island off Surat Thani. As it approached a village in tambon Takhian Thong about 5.30am the bus suddenly careered off the road into a pit on the left, in front of a petrol station, and then ploughed into a large power post. The broken post fell on top of the Transport Co bus.
Ten people died on the spot – the male driver, a male Indian tourist, five female Thai passengers and three Thai male passengers.
Seventeen other people, Thais and foreigners, were injured, eight of them seriously.
Police said the accident occurred when the front right tyre burst, causing the driver to lose control. The bus hit a tree and then the electric pole at full speed.
One of the woman Thai passengers said the first driver was replaced by another driver when the bus stopped at a public rest area in Prachuap Khiri Khan’s Thap Sakae district.
“Since 3am, many passengers could not sleep because the bus was speeding so fast and the entire bus was also shaking.
“When I saw the bus going out of control I ducked down in my seat. I then heard a loud crash and cries for help everywhere,” she said.
Surat Thani governor Cherdsak Chusri went to the crash scene. He said provincial authorities had contacted the embassies of the countries of the injured foreigners.
The names six of the dead passengers were given as:
1) bus driver Ang Srinual, 58,
2) Indian tourist Ahmed Jain, 38,
3) Wanchai Boonnukul,
4) Pimphan Saedan,
5) Saharat Chummano, 39, and
6) Kamnung Somjaimai, 58.
Details of the other four fatalities could not be confirmed.
Names of the injured foreign passengers and their nationalities are as follows;
1) Ms Roverta Norton, British
2) Jonathan Bennet, British
3) Pinry Jain (Ahmed’s mother), Indian
4) Pushpinder Kuma, Indian
5) Aashima Jain, Indian
6) Ms Jasmine Maglige, Luxembourger
7) Figueredo Matias Michael, Luxembourger, and
Kapl Gaya, Zimbabwean.