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Tour minibus runs off road as driver turns to GPS

PHUKET: Five tourists were taken to hospital this morning (Apr 24) after the driver of their minibus ran off the road while switching on the GPS on his phone.

Pol Lt Wuttichai Chanfai of the Wichit Police said officers were informed of the accident, on Route 4010, the road between Chao Fa West Rd and the Prince of Songkla University Phuket campus, at about 8:25am.

At the scene police and rescue workers from the Phuket Ruamjai Rescue Foundation (“Ruamjai Kupai”) arrived to find a blue-white Bangkok-registered minibus in a ditch by the side of the road. Painted on the side of the minibus was the name of tour company ‘Pathumwan Auto (1993)’.

Six of the tourist passengers suffered minor injuries in the accident. Five of them, four Indian nationals and one Pakistani, were taken to Dibuk Hospital. One of the injured tourists refused to go.

The tourists were treated for scratches and abrasions. X-rays confirmed no broken bones.

The tour company representative present assured all medical bills were covered by the tour company’s insurance.

The minibus driver, Anon Khamnarong, 30, told police that he picked up the tourists from Patong. They were en route to Ratsada Pier, but he was concerned he had taken a wrong turn.

The bus accidentally veered off the road when he went to switch on the GPS on his phone.

Wichit Police said Mr Anon had tested negative for alcohol.

Mr Anon and the minibus were taken to Wichit Police Station while officers said they were continuing their investigation.

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