CHIANG MAI – A songthaew (baht bus) has rolled down a steep slope near a parking lot in Chiang Mai city, killing two tourists and seriously injured two others.
According to Thai PBS, Mr. Yongyuth Boonlert, 45, the baht-bus driver, told police that he took a number of tourists from Chiang Mai town to Phu Phing Ratchaniwet Palace. On arriving at the palace, he parked the vehicle and the passengers went off for sightseeing.
After the tourist finished their sightseeing, they returned to the vehicle at about 11am.
When the driver removed a stone which he used to block a rear wheel, the baht-bus, of which the engine had not been started, suddenly slid backward and moved quickly down the hill, hitting a food stall about five to seven meters below.
Two female passengers fell off and were killed after the baht-bus ran them over and another two tourists were seriously injured and admitted to Maharat Nakhon Chiang Mai Hospital.
The driver was detained for questioning pending possible legal action.
The songthaew (baht bus), is a modified pickup truck used as a share taxi. There are two bench seats fixed along either side of the back of the truck. It has become the most popular and cheapest option to get around Chiang Mai by the vehicle.
However, the baht-bus doesn’t have any seat belts, nor any other safety equipment on board.