Police report that two Indian tourists were killed, and five others were seriously injured when their passenger van collided with a freight truck in southern Thailand’s Chumphon Province at approximately 1 a.m Saturday.
Police, doctors, and emergency personnel went to the location, where they discovered a 10-wheel vehicle freight truck parked in a U-turn. Mr. Kraisorn Klinsawang, 32, of Prachuap Khiri Khan, was waiting for police at the scene.
At the scene police found highly damaged Toyota van with Phuket license plates had overturned in a roadside ditch some 150 metres away from the freight truck. The impact caused minor damage to the left side of the vehicle.
Four Indian tourist and a 50-year-old Thai man suffered significant injuries. Mr. Nirot, the passenger van driver, was the sole Thai male identified. Everyone was transferred to two local hospitals.
Indian Tourists Dead
Two male tourists from India were discovered dead and trapped in the wreckage. To extract their bodies, rescue workers had to use a cutting tool. The deceased passengers were two Indian nationals, aged 25 and 28.
According to preliminary investigations, the vehicle was transporting ten Indian tourists from the Hat Yai region of Songkhla to Bangkok. The driver of the freight truck said he shifted to the right lane to do a U-turn, and the passenger van clipped the rear-end it of his truck.
The passenger van driver lost control as a result of the crash, and the van plunged into a roadside ditch.
Police were looking into the cause of the crash. They intend to question the driver of the van, the injured passengers, and the truck driver.
Indian Tourist Visa Waiver
In an effort to attract more visitors, Thailand has decided to give visa-free admission to Indian tourists from November 10, 2023 to May 10, 2024. The government expects this campaign to attract an additional 1.4 million tourists, generating around 55 billion baht ($1.5 billion) in revenue.
Previously, Indian tourists had to apply for a 15-day visa on arrival at immigration checkpoints, as well as provide bank statements and evidence of lodging.
Thailand is the second country to announce visa waivers for Indian visitors, following Sri Lanka, which recently implemented visa-free entrance for travelers from seven countries, including India and China, as part of a pilot experiment to encourage tourism until March 31, 2024.
Thailand has encountered road safety concerns, such as speeding, intoxicated driving, and a lack of attention to traffic rules. To address these concerns, the country has implemented a variety of initiatives, including heightened law enforcement, public awareness campaigns, and infrastructural improvements.
According to the World Health Organization, traffic-related events in Thailand would account for roughly 33% of total deaths in 2022. In Thailand, road accidents claimed 14,737 deaths and wounded 924,799 people in 2022. Foreigners were responsible for 536 deaths and 7,885 injuries.
Reckless driving, a lack of education, a lack of enforcement, and road infrastructure issues have all been cited as key barriers to change, and current efforts to make roads safer appear to have had little effect.