Two killed in motorcycle taxi brawl

Two killed in motorcycle taxi brawl

Conflict erupts in broad daylight after one group accuses rivals of stealing business

Police officers arrive to break up a violent brawl between members of two rival motorcycle-taxi queues on Sukhumvit Soi 103/1-2 in Bang Na district of Bangkok on Saturday morning. (Screen capture from clip by Salonaio Chakonkun Facebook page)
Police officers arrive to break up a violent brawl between members of two rival motorcycle-taxi queues on Sukhumvit Soi 103/1-2 in Bang Na district of Bangkok on Saturday morning. (Screen capture from clip by Salonaio Chakonkun Facebook page)

A Bangkok street turned into a war zone on Saturday morning when members of two rival motorcycle-taxi queues staged a violent brawl that killed two people and injured two others.

The incident occurred on Sukhumvit Soi 103/1-2 or Soi Udomsuk in Bang Na area of Bangkok at around 11.15am. 

Members of the two motorcycle taxi groups, armed with wooden batons, steel bars, knives and guns, turned the side road into a scene of mayhem in full view of residents and passers-by.

During the fierce conflict, a stray bullet hit Weerawat Phuengkhut, 20, a Kerry Express delivery man, in the left eyebrow. He died in front of his house on the soi. The other victim, Watcharin Ngamchalao, 33, died in hospital.

One of the two injured men sustained a bullet wound. His name was not known. Another one, identified as Thaweekiart Sutthisanong, 20, had knife wounds on his head. Video clips of the incident went viral online.

Bang Na police said the fighting erupted after one group of drivers providing services at the entrance of Sukhumvit Soi 103/1-2 became upset with their rivals whose queue is in front of a Siam Commercial Bank branch nearby. They claimed they had been losing customers.

Angry members of the first group started the brawl, which escalated into violence. When police and rescue workers arrived, the two groups fled. Police are hunting those involved.

Police are seeking warrants for the arrest of at least 10 members of both queues. They will face charges including murder.

Pol Maj Gen Mongkhol Waroonno, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 5, said both motorycyle-taxi queues were found to be operating illegally.

Police have obtained identification of those involved in the attacks, said Pol Maj Gen Mongkhol. However, he declined to give details. CCTV footage will be examined and the leaders of the two groups will be summoned for questioning.

Video clip from Jutarat Charoenphol Facebook page.


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