A Thai driver was killed and all 13 young Danish passengers injured, three of them seriously, when their van veered off a hillside road and plunged into a ravine in Pai district of Mae Hong Son province on Thursday night.
The van, carrying 10 Danish women and three Danish men, deviated from Highway 1095 at kilometre makers 82-83 between Mae Ya and Mae Ping checkpoints in tambon Mae Hee, said Pol Lt Col Suwit Boonyaphen, Mae Hong Son tourist police inspector, who was alerted around 9.45pm.
The collision claimed the life of driver Baramee Panyajachaiya, 50, and left all 13 passengers injured, with three sustaining serious injuries. All were sent to Chiang Mai Ram and Pai hospitals.
Acccording to a preliminary investigation, the van left Chiang Mai at 6.30pm on Thursday for Pai district. The tourists, aged between 19 and 25, intended to attend the popular Full Moon Party at a restaurant in Pai.
The driver, believed to be unfamiliar with the terrain, lost control at a curve, causing the vehicle to veer off the road into a deep ravine. The driver sustained severe injuries and was later pronounced dead.
The Pai Samakkhi Karnkusol rescue foundation, on its Facebook page, reported that the incident occured at 8.25pm on Thursday. Fourteen people — 13 Danish passengers and one Thai driver — were injured. Five individuals, including the driver, were trapped inside the wreckage. The driver was later declared dead.
In Pai, parties are often held for foreign tourists, prompting transport firms to increase the frequencies of their vans to accommodate the rising number of foreign visitors.
On Nov 10 last year, a similar accident occurred when a van hit a mountain slope on the way to the popular tourist venue, resulting in the death of two foreign tourists and injuries to several others.