Friday, Apr 10 2020
All Cities
Choose Your City
'Please will you get a message to my wife in Paris, to say I bless my son?-reported final words of Admiral Kolchak'

Siberian tourists injured in a serious coach crash in Thailand after driver 'used his cell phone'

By The Siberian Times reporter
11 August 2013

Dramatic testimony from passengers as 28 out of 43 Russian passengers were hurt in Friday's accident.

Thai reports suggested the driver had dozed off, but this was denied by guide Chavisa Rordbut, of travel company Discovery Tour, which had organised the excursion from Pattaya to the River Kwai. She denied that the driver had used his phone and claimed the steering jammed. Picture: Vesti.ru

The tourists had a miracle escape after their coach - travelling at 90 to 100 kph - turned on its side in slippery conditions in Kanchanaburi province about 120 kilometres west of Bangkok.

Some of the tourists were from Novokuznetsk in southern Siberia, others from the Pacific port of Vladivostok.

The Russian Foreign Ministry also confirmed  that 26 tourists suffered 'minor and moderate injuries' and 'were promptly taken to the local Kanchanaburi Memorial Hospital. All of them received timely medical attention'.

The five still in hospital were in a 'satisfactory' condition and were treated in separate rooms. One tourist on the coach gave a shocking account of events leading to the crash. 

'Right before the accident the driver was doing something with the phone - either he was writing a message or calling someone,' Viktor Shapoval - who broke his arm - told Itar-Tass. His wife and son suffered bruising. 

'I don't know what happened but it turned to its side and rammed a tree,' said his son Alexander, who suffered head lacerations.

'Then shattered glass poured down. After that I remember people being carried out of the bus through its windows.'

The Thai authorities were ensuring the injured were being properly cared for, he said. 'The mayor of Kanchanaburi came over here today, he asked if everything was okay and if we needed something,' said Mr Shapoval. 

Thai reports suggested the driver had dozed off, but this was denied by guide Chavisa Rordbut, of travel company Discovery Tour, which had organised the excursion from Pattaya to the River Kwai. She denied that the driver had used his phone and claimed the steering jammed.

'We careened to the left and the steering wheel got stuck,' she said. 

A female tourist from Vladivostok was reported to have suffered bone fractures and internal organ injuries. She remained 'bedridden'.

Other tourists were given the all-clear and had resumed their vacations. Some reports said they had purchased the tour from a street vendor, a normal practice in Thailand.

Irina Tyurina, spokeswoman for the Russian Union of the Tourism Industry, said: 'We only know that the tourists are from Siberia. That's all the information we have at the moment.'

Reports said the coach 'skidded on a slippery road and fell on its side, continuing to slide along for several more metres'.

The Foreign Ministry confirmed: 'The Russian Embassy in Thailand is monitoring assistance to the injured compatriots and the investigation of the causes of the accident'.

Rostourism is monitoring the situation and maintaining contact with the Russian diplomatic missions in Thailand, the Emergencies Ministry and tour operators.

Add your comment

We welcome a healthy debate, but do not accept offensive or abusive comments. Please also read 'Siberian Times' Privacy Policy

Name

Town/Country

Add your comments

The views expressed in the comments above are those of our readers. 'Siberian Times' reserves the right to pre-moderate some comments.

Control code*

Type the code

* obligatory


News

Business

The Bank of Russia official exchange rates of foreign currencies
EUR80.74USD73.75GBP91.96Other...