Monday, November 18, 2013

Thailand: Three Russian Women Hospitalized in ICU, Nine Others Injured in Pattaya

According to, three Russian women are in an intensive care unit at a local hospital and nine other tourists were injured when a bus crashed near Pattaya earlier today (November 15).

The bus driver told police he ran off the road and struck a pole to avoid another vehicle. ''I was traveling at low speed,'' said bus driver Preecha Ramwong, 40.

The bus, carrying 51 tourists, left the road and crashed in the Bung district of Chonburi province, where Pattaya is located, at approximately 0630 hours.

Police were told the tourists to Thailand were on their way to Kanchanaburi province for a day of elephant trekking and other activities. Nearly all of them were still asleep when the bus crashed.

The crash is the latest in a series of mishaps in Thailand that have killed or injured tourists, Russians among them.

COMMENT: Seven tourists were killed when a ferry returning to Pattaya from Lan island capsized earlier this month. 

A Russian boy became the final victim when he succumbed to his injuries in hospital. 

Interestingly, at the time, the "captain" of the ferry was under the influence of dangerous drugs and authorized the vessel to become over-loaded in terms of the legal capacity of authorized passengers.

Envoys from several countries have grown increasingly alarmed at the numbers of tourists who drown or are involved in serious road crashes while visiting Thailand.

In intensive care today were Galina Katorova, 59, Anzhelika Sotnikova, 39, and Nadezda Anokhova, 35.

The other tourists injured in today's crash have been named as Gary Pomeransev, 75, Tatiana Dolgintceva, 27, Larisa Bolshova, 52, Andrey Sivoplias, 35,  Misha Anokhon, 12, Alexsandr Kartkev, 35, Valeriia Sotnikova, 20, and Kristina Khomenko, 25.

Phuket has also had several incidents involving tourists but with less serious outcomes.

Scores of international students from Bangkok were injured when a bus rolled backwards and crashed on Phuket's Patong Hill last weekend. 

As I have cautioned all tourists and travelers in the past, ALL modes of transportation should be carefully evaluated by visitors before boarding them. Below is a list of guidelines:

Water Craft:  Ask to see a watercraft license from operators. Many possess little experience and are "cowboy"-like. Ask your embassy or consulate or hotel concierge for the names of reputable operators.

Jet-skis: AVOID all jet-ski operators. Most are connected to organized crime and often demand large sums of money for damages not made by the current operator.

Taxis: Ask your embassy or consulate for the names of reputable taxi operators, preferably radio-controlled, so you can call them on your cell phone if needed.

Samlors/Tuk-Tuk: Most samlor/tuk-tuk drivers are unsavory and are well known for demanding exorbitant rates over short distances. Tourists/travelers are also reminded that taking using such vehicles makes riders vulnerable to theft and robbery. 

Motorbikes and Motorcycles: Don't rent a motorbike or motorcycle if you don't have a valid license to operate a two-wheeled, motorized vehicle as fatal accidents are a common occurrence for visitors who are inexperienced.

Buses: Rural buses over long distances have a high-risk of accidents due to poor maintenance, driver fatigue and non-existent traffic enforcement. Additionally, don't take buses anywhere as theft and robbery are commonplace.