Traffic was even worse than usual on busy Sukhumvit Road on Wednesday after a steel slab covering a hole near Soi Sukhumvit 64/1 collapsed under the weight of a heavy truck that ended up taking six hours to remove.
The road surface caved in as the 10-wheel truck passed over it about 11.45am, beneath the skywalk of the Punnawithi BTS station where the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration is putting electrical wiring and cabling underground.
Two people were injured and were taken to a nearby hospital, police said.
Traffic on the three inbound lanes of Sukhumvit Road was brought to a halt, causing a traffic jam that extended back to the Bang Na intersection and beyond.
As efforts to move the truck laden with dirt excavated from a construction site got under way, numerous online sleuths noted a suspicious sticker on its front windshield. It was the same as those shown earlier this year that were used in a long-running corruption racket that allowed overloaded trucks to avoid police checks.
A backhoe was brought to the scene to scoop the dirt out of the truck, and two more trucks arrived to carry the dirt away. Two cranes then were brought in to lift the truck free of the hole, with the task completed around 6.30pm.
It was still not known when repairs to the site could be made in order for traffic to resume.
Thai Rath newspaper pointed out that there are about 700 locations on Bangkok roads where steel plates cover entrances to tunnels for electrical cables.
Bangkok governor Chadchart Sittipunt, who visited the scene in the afternoon, told reporters that no workers were in the hole when the accident occurred. The cabling work normally takes place from 10pm to 5am, he said.
He said it was not known yet if the truck exceeded the weight limit or whether the construction of the covering was substandard.
The heavy truck collapsed a steel plate placed over a hole where cabling was being moved underground near Sukhumvit 64/1. (Photo: Nutthawat Wichieanbut)