Lt Pongsatorn Pothong of the Patong Police told The Phuket News that the accident occurred at about 1:50pm.
The tourists had arrived at the entrance to the beach on the main road by their own transport, and boarded the small “bus” to be taken down to the beach, Lt Pongsatorn explained.
“While heading down a steep slope heading towards the beach, one of the front wheels suffered a failure while the pickup truck was on a curve. The driver lost control and the pickup ended up in a canal beside the road,” he said.
Following a report from an eyewitness posted by the Mirror Saturday evening saying “Holidaymakers were catapulted from the open-sided vehicle and ‘strewn in the middle of the road’ (see story here),” Lt Pongsatorn late Saturday night said he was unable to confirm that.
The report by the Mirror also noted “The roof was torn off and the driver was ‘barely conscious’” and that “the bus driver (sic)… had to be carried from the wreckage.”
Lt Pongsatorn confirmed that the roof was torn off from the vehicle in the accident, but made no mention of the driver being “barely conscious” and “carried from the vehicle”..
“All of the tourists are alright. The staff at Paradise Beach sent all the tourists to Patong Hospital. All of them had scratches only. There were no serious injuries,” he said.
“There were 11 passengers: two Thais, seven Bulgarians, one French [national] and one British. The Thai driver suffered some injuries. In total 12 people were treated at the hospital,” he added.
"Now everyone is safe and have gone back to their hotels,” he said.
“The Thai driver, Mr Wanchai Srisawat, has been charged with reckless driving causing injury,” Lt Pongsatorn said.