Six drown, one missing in pickup plunge

Six drown, one missing in pickup plunge

Motorists stop to watch after a pickup plunged into the flooded river from a collapsing bridge at Ban Non Sombun in tambon Phu Khao Thong in Narathiwat's Sukhirin district on Sunday afternoon. Six people were confirmed drowned and one missing. (Photo: Waedao Harai)
Motorists stop to watch after a pickup plunged into the flooded river from a collapsing bridge at Ban Non Sombun in tambon Phu Khao Thong in Narathiwat's Sukhirin district on Sunday afternoon. Six people were confirmed drowned and one missing. (Photo: Waedao Harai)

NARATHIWAT: Six people drowned and another was missing after their pickup plunged into the river when a bridge collapsed in storm-hit Sukhirin district on Sunday afternoon.

The bridge fell as the ground at one end subsided, near Ban Non Sombun, Moo 5 village, in tambon Phu Khao Thong.

The four-door Toyota Vigo Prerunner was dumped into rapidly flowing water about 5 metres deep, the river swollen by runoff after days of continuous rain.

The pickup sank top down in the water.

Local reports said seven people were travelling in the vehicle - three men, two women and two very young girls.

When the water subsided, six were found trapped and drowned in the vehicle and the seventh was missing.

The three men were Noppadol Malila, 46, a teacher of Nikom Pattana 10 School at Moo 1 in tambon Ma Mong, Sukhirin district, Suhari Chepo, 33, and Muhamad Nor Yuso, 49.

The women were Ainee Malila, 27, and Aida Ma, 25. The two girls were Afiadamia Chepo, 2, and Ariya Chepo, who was only seven months old.

It was not reported which of them was missing.

Supoj Maneeratanachot, director of Education Zone 2 in Narathiwat, said the six recovered bodies were taken to Sukhirin Hospital. The search was continuing for the seventh. 

In Bangkok, government spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said the prime minister was being kept up to date on the flood situation in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phatthalung, Pattani, Yala and Narithiwat.

The prime minister offered his condolences to the families of these who died and ordered local authorities to visit and give them due compensation, he said.

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