Saturday, 14 May 2011

Pattaya bus crash on Bang NaTrat kills two

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A Bangkokbound public bus crashed into a pillar on Bang NaTrat Expressway yesterday morning, claiming two lives and injuring 27 passengers

Bus driver Kitisak Piswong, 51, and a female passenger were killed instantly.

Of the 27 injured, six were in serious condition last night. The bus, with several foreigners on board, was heading for Bangkok from Pattaya in Chon Buri province. Initial investigation suggested that the bus driver might have been speeding and had to swerve suddenly to avoid another vehicle, which forced the crash. The bus was totalled in the accident.

Grenade attack targets Pheu Thai worker

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Police believe homemade device probably not intended to kill

In what seems to be becoming customary, preelection violence has begun to escalate. A canvasser for a potential Pheu Thai Party candidate was the target of a grenade attack at her home in Samut Prakan yesterday, three days after veteran MP Pracha Prasobdee of the same party was injured in an assassination attempt.

Somthawil Ruenthong, who is close to potential candidate Worrachai Hema, told police that her pickup truck sustained damage from a grenade lobbed at her house in Bang Phli district early yesterday.

The woman said she received a phone call last month telling her to stop supporting Worrachai but she turned the caller down.

Police said the grenade could be a homemade type and was possibly not intended to kill.

A local politician in Samut Prakan, Mallika Thiansuwan, dismissed rumours that she or her younger brother Weerasak was behind the shooting of Pracha, saying that her family never had conflicts with Pracha, whom she claimed to have met last month.

Referring to Pracha's statement that the mastermind was a son of an influential local politician, Mallika said that although the description matched Weerasak, he had no reason to have conflicts with Pracha, nor was he running in the July 3 general election under the banner of the Bhum Jai Thai Party, which is a rival to Pracha's Pheu Thai, or any other party.

"I don't have any clue about the motive behind the shooting of Pracha. I never crossed a line with him," she added.

Weerasak is now an adviser to the mayor of tambon Phra Sumut Chedi municipality, while Mallika is a former deputy head of the Provincial Administrative Organisation.

Deputy Prime Minister Suthep Thaugsuban said he never "piled up on Pracha's misery" as Pracha claimed on Thursday, by giving any statement in his disfavour after he was shot. Suthep said he could possibly have been misquoted by a third person who conveyed his message to Pracha.

Suthep said violence in politics was not acceptable, and that he had ordered police to treat Pracha's shooting equally well as any crimes or political violent cases, while a police suppression on gunforhire rackets was underway.

He dismissed a statement by Pheu Thai Party MP Jatuporn Promphan that violence was being used and would escalate to prevent the July 3 election from being completed, saying that exaggeration was a habit of Jatuporn's and he would not comment further on the matter.

Doctors at Rama IX Hospital turned down Pracha's request to return home, because his gunshot wound has not completely healed, and yesterday became a bit infected. They said nine bullet fragments in his back did not need to be removed.

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