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Tour bus slams power pole on Patong Hill

PHUKET: Brake failure has been blamed for a tour bus slamming into a power pole while descending the hill into Patong early this morning (Mar 23).

By Eakkapop Thongtub

Thursday 23 March 2023, 10:22AM

Patong Police were informed of the accident, on the final curve heading into Patong on Phra Baramee Rd, at about 5am.

Police and rescue workers from the Kusoldharm Foundation arrived at the scene to find the red Phuket-registered tour bus, with Phiphairat Tour emblazoned on the side, stopped beside a  roadside concrete wall, well known among passers-by for being heavily tagged with graffiti.

The bus had suffered heavy damage to its front right, with the driver’s door sheared off by the impact. The bus had felled the power pole before narrowly missing the wall. The impact also disabled a government CCTV camera.

The driver, 37-year-old Prayoon Nayao, had suffered serious injuries to his leg, with bone protruding from the wound.

Mr Prayoon was administered emergency first aid at the scene then rushed to Patong Hospital, which was where Mr Prayoon was driving to anyway.

The bus was one of three buses chartered to pick up nurses and other staff at Patong Hospital and take them to Khao Lak, explained “Mr Pan”, one of the drivers of the other buses.

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The bus had travelled from Ao Makham, on the east coast of Phuket, he said.

Mr Pan attributed the accident to failure of the air brake system while the bus was descending the hill. The bus had been involved in accidents before, he said.

It was lucky that the bus was empty and that the only person injured was the driver, Mr Pan added. The other buses had already picked up their load of Patong Hospital officials and nursing staff, he said.

Maj Phacharathon Chan-iad of the Patong Police said that officers were continuing their investigation into the accident, as the accident had resulted in damage to government property.

So far officials have made no mention of resuming safety checks specifically on buses travelling over Patong Hill, as has been common practice after other accidents involving tour buses on Patong Hill in the past.

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Kakka2 | 24 March 2023 - 15:24:43

@John maybe you really have nothing else to do and no money so you stay home in front of your screen and  telling other people what to do? ( does it make you feel satisfy of you life now?lol ) sad to say the least and commenting on the article here and not giving lesson all around maybe...that too much to ask to a retired old element like you... good luck for the rest of your days 

Kurt | 24 March 2023 - 11:42:36

This, repeated, accident is one of a 'human error'. 1- Perhaps backlog in bus maintenance. 2- Low standard of driver requirements/training driving hills of Phuket. Anyone knowing how bus brake systems work laugh about the usual BS brake failure excuses. Is the RTP take that explanation as valid? Perhaps for the cover up brown envelopes? Something has to be done to make hilly roadsmore safe...

Kurt | 24 March 2023 - 11:04:55

JohnC, All other routes, Kamala-Patong vv, Kata-Patong vv go over hills too. Fact is that these enormous high dubble deck busses are not suitable for just touring around with empty cargo holes. Use type busses like the blue one's for going to see a sunset or day trips. More suitable for Phuket road infrastructure.

JohnC | 24 March 2023 - 09:19:47

The old 'brakes failed' defense once again. Been expecting accidents involving these buses ever since they started showing up back on the roads again. Those big heavy high tour buses really shouldn't be allowed over Patong Hill at all. There are other routes they can take until the tunnel is finally made.

JohnC | 24 March 2023 - 09:14:43

@kakka2. Can't you even check your spelling? "theri breaks"??? Maybe that's too much to ask...

Kurt | 24 March 2023 - 01:08:09

Back to old Patong Hill bus happening times! Give us a update about this bus safety inspections as other road drivers could have been hurt/died. RTP 'investigation' because Gov property damaged is a minor issue. Safety of Hill users should be a priority. As usual, Patong RTP makes it herself the easy way out. Statement/signal of mr Pan should be taken more serious.

Fascinated | 23 March 2023 - 11:44:41

All these buses have been sat still with little if any servicing over the past three years- stand by for more events like this. Fortunately no one was injured. other than the driver- could have been a lot worse. 

Kakka2 | 23 March 2023 - 10:54:18

cant they even check theri breaks? after 3 years of stop those busses should be fully re checked before been throw into the street.... but maybe that too much to ask 


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