Four people were reported injured with 25 others reported as “safe”.
According to initial reports, the brakes on the bus, registered in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, “failed” before it struck the passenger van then broke through the guardrail just before the steep descent into Patong.
The front end of the bus rammed into a water mains running parallel to the road, preventing the bus from plunging down the hill.
A tuk-tuk was also involved in the accident. At least one tourist was seen exiting the back of the tuk-tuk safely, while a man remained on the ground beside the vehicle.
Metres away a motorbike was jammed under the front of another passenger van.
Nearby a man lay in the centre of the road with head injuries.
Rescue teams and police have yet to file comprehensive reports of the accident.
Traffic heading both into and out of Patong remained backed up while efforts continued to transport the injured to medical facilities and clear the wrecks from the busy road.
Tonight’s accident follows a clear call for authorities to take a comprehensive approach to preventing further deaths from runaway tour buses and other heavy vehicle after decades of deadly “brake failures” on Patong Hill.
The call came in a recent online poll by The Phuket News launched after after two tragic tour bus crashes on Patong Hill claimed three lives in less than two weeks. (See story here.)
On the night of July 10, a tour bus crash killed a 10-year-old boy and his father, both Chinese tourists on holiday in Phuket. (See story here.)
That accident came less than two weeks after another runaway tour bus killed a 40-year-old woman who happened to be riding a motorbike on the street where all drivers of out-of-control “brake failure” buses aim to come to a rest, instead of slamming into a concrete wall beside the entrance to the street. (See story here.)
Together, the two accidents left nearly 50 people, mostly tourists, injured.