The accident occurred at the last downhill slope on Kata hill, on Patak Moo 2 Rd, Karon sub-district, near the Karon Power sub-station.
Capt Channarong Prakongkue of Karon Police received the report and coordinated with the Karon Municipality rescue workers who helped bring the injured tourists to Vachira Hospital via Emergency Medical Service (EMS).
Staff of the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) of Karon Municipality also helped to later check the scene of the accident with Deputy Chief of Karon Police Lt Col Pratueang Phonmana and Karon Mayor Thawee Thongchem.
About 100 metres before a Kata hill curve, they found a 20-seater mini bus in the forest on the side of the hill, about 5m from the road and 4m deep, said Capt Channarong.
“In the car were 15 Chinese tourists, four injured, of whom three were female and one was male. One person had a broken leg and others had body abrasions. The rescuers provided first-aid before bringing them Vachira hospital,” he said.
“Meanwhile, the Karon Municipality-DDPM and rescue workers found smoke coming out of the engine at the rear of the vehicle, attaching a sling to the lid over the engine and using another car to quickly pull the lid open.
“They then used fire extinguishers to quickly extinguish the engine until the smoke subsided before inspecting the damaged property,” said Capt Channarong.
The bus driver, Wisut Krasaeporn (52) told police he had driven the bus to pick up the tourists from Phuket Airport to bring them to a hotel in Karon.
The 15 tourists, along with a guide, head of the tour, Mr Wisut himself and Mr Wisut’s wife were on the bus, totalling 19 passengers.
“The rain had fallen and made the road wet and slippery. Even though I drove with care and used low gear to go downhill, I still lost control of the bus and it spun before crashing down the side of the hill. I tried to stop the vehicle but could not,” Mr Wisut told police.
“Police invited Mr Wisut for questioning and alcohol testing at the Karon Police station to find the cause of the accident. Meanwhile the rest of the tourists were brought safely to their hotel,” said Capt Channarong.