PHETCHABURI – Three Chinese tourists from Hong Kong have died and three others were critically injured, including a woman and her four-year-old son, when their van crashed in Thailand yesterday.
The accident, in which the Thai driver of the van was also killed, happened on the Cha-am-Pran Buri Bypass in Cha-am in the central Phetchaburi province, some 170 km south of Bangkok.
The driver of the Bangkok-registered van tried to swerve from a lane to avoid colliding with a decelerating trailer truck that was being signalled to pull over by highway police a short distance ahead. The van then skidded across the road and slammed into a tree in a storm drain in the middle of the road, the Bangkok Post reported.
Rescuers cut open the wreckage and pulled out the Hongkongers and the Thai driver.
Three Hong Kong tourists – a man and two women, and the Thai driver were confirmed dead at the scene.
A 31-year-old woman, her four-year-old son, and a man in his 30s were taken to Cha-am Hospital before being transferred to Phra Chom Klao Hospital in the province.
Their conditions were stated as critical last night.
Police lieutenant Sayoompu Sitthikul, an investigator from Cha-am police station, said he could not confirm whether the highway police officer had a role in the crash. Police inquiries were ongoing.
Photos in the Thai press showed the overturned van lying on broken tree branches on the roadside. Another photo showed four covered bodies on stretchers.
Two immigration officers were heading to Thailand to help the injured Hongkongers and the deceased’s families, a department spokesman said on Monday.
One officer had been on holiday in the kingdom and cancelled the vacation to help the victims, the department said. Another would fly from Hong Kong today.