Chiang Mai: Tourist van crash leaves two dead, 10 injured

Photo courtesy of Thai PBS World

Yesterday at 9.40am, an accident involving a tourist van in Mae Taeng, Chiang Mai province, left two dead and 10 injured.

The Chiang Mai provincial authorities are providing full support to the casualties.

The Governor of Chiang Mai, Nirat Pongsittithavorn, assigned his deputy, Veerapong Ruttharot, along with Chiang Mai’s provincial transportation office, disaster prevention and mitigation office, provincial tourist police, doctors from Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai, and representatives from Prempracha Transport Company Limited, to assist the tourists affected by the accident.

The van, registered as 10-6962 Chiang Mai, was carrying tourists from Chiang Mai to Pai district in Mae Hong Son province.

The journey began at Chiang Mai’s provincial transport station, heading towards Pai district, Mae Hong Son. However, while driving on Highway 1095 near Mae Lao village, Mae Taeng district, Chiang Mai, the vehicle’s front left tyre burst, causing it to lose control and collide with a tree.

This resulted in the immediate death of two passengers: one man from the Netherlands and one woman from France. The driver, Anek Phetma, was unharmed and has been taken into police custody.

Following the accident, all 10 injured passengers were taken to hospital immediately. A Thai woman, who suffered facial and right arm injuries, is being treated at Mae Taeng Hospital and is expected to be discharged tomorrow. Another female tourist, who suffered a neck wound, safely travelled to Pai district. The remaining eight foreign passengers have been transferred to Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai for further treatment.

Injured conditions

By yesterday evening, the medical team announced that one passenger was in critical condition with multiple fractures including to the wrist, lower leg, hip, and several vertebrae. However, the patient’s condition has now stabilized. The remaining seven passengers suffered minor injuries, primarily to their faces and arms, and are expected to be discharged from Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai tomorrow.

The Chiang Mai Provincial Transport Office has confirmed that the vehicle had passed its inspection on September 11. Tax payments were up-to-date, and the maximum speed recorded during the journey was 83 kilometres per hour, within the legal limit, reported Sanook.

Nonetheless, Veerapong Ruttharot, Deputy Governor of Chiang Mai, stated that Chiang Mai province and all sectors will continue to support and assist the tourists. They will also liaise with embassies to repatriate the bodies of the deceased and perform religious ceremonies. He reassured that the injured tourists will receive the best possible medical care and confirmed Chiang Mai’s readiness to welcome and facilitate tourists visiting the province.

After the press conference, Veerapong and the relevant agencies visited the injured tourists at Bangkok Hospital Chiang Mai, bringing bouquets. The injured tourists expressed their appreciation for the excellent care and assistance provided by the public sector.

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