Overcrowding prompts limited access to Khao San Road

Overcrowding prompts limited access to Khao San Road

Visitors enjoy the Songkran festival on Khao San Road on Thursday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Visitors enjoy the Songkran festival on Khao San Road on Thursday. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Police vow they must limit access to Khao San Road as the well-known alley was dangerously overcrowded by Songkran festival revellers on Thursday night.

Pol Maj Gen Atthaporn Wongsiripreeda, commander of the Metropolitan Police Division 1, said on Friday that visitors could access Khao San Road from Chakrapong Road only and other channels to Khao San would be used as exits for effective control on the number of people on Khao San Road.

If huge crowds show up, police would temporarily block access to Khao San Road at times to wait for some people to leave the road to prevent overcrowding.

Two companies of crowd control police would be deployed there to guarantee public safety, he said.

Local police temporarily blocked access to Khao San Road at about 7pm on Thursday and told new visitors to wait for people to gradually leave the 400-metre-long road in Phra Nakhon district first. The Songkran festivities were planned there from Thursday to Saturday.

Police asked visitors in the vicinity to wait about 15 minutes to allow those already inside to leave Khao San Road conveniently.

At 8.50pm police closed access to the road and advised newcomers to visit nearby Ratchadamnoen Avenue instead for public safety due to the overcrowded Khao San Road.

Deputy national police chief Pol Gen Torsak Sukwimol said police had to strictly impose regulations on visits to Khao San Road for public safety.

"Strict enforcement of regulations is not for police but for the public. Sometimes accidents could cause harm to the general public," he said.

"For concerns about overcrowding, measures were worked out based on New Year celebrations here. Emergency exits have been prepared for Khao San Road in case of emergency," said the deputy national police chief.

Pol Gen Torsak said that official Songkran celebrations on Khao San Road were set to end each night at 10pm but visitors would possibly remain there afterwards.

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