CHAMPHON – Over thirty European Tourists escaped unscathed when the double-decker bus they were travelling on to Koh Sami burst into flames in Chumphon Province, police said.
Pol Lt Col Detbundit Dulpaeree, a duty officer at Sawi police station, which was alerted about the fire around 4am on Thursday.
Police and rescue workers rushed to the scene found a double-decker tour bus engulfed in flames, with panicked foreign passengers watching the flames from the roadside.
Fire trucks and crews were sent to quench the flames, but the bus was gutted.
According to the Bangkok Post the bus driver Mr. Pongpan Daengduang, 40, told authorities the bus was taking 34 foreign tourists to the ferry pier in Surat Thani, en route to Koh Samui island.
The drive said when the bus reached Sawi district, the electrical system began malfunctioning, causing the hydraulic system for the brakes to fail. The brakes began overheating, sending out a strong burning smell. He quickly parked the bus on the roadside.
Shortly afterward smoke began pouring out of the left rear wheel, and he woke up the passengers telling them to quickly disembark. They left the bus via the emergency exits on the lower level as the doors remained locked due to the failed electrical system.
The driver tried unsuccessfully to use the fire extinguisher to put out the flames, as the fire spread quickly. He then called police and sought help from the nearest tambon Kron local administration organisation to combat the blaze, but he was told there was no driver available for the fire truck.
The bus and all the passengers’ luggage and other belongings left on board were destroyed.