Tragic accident in northern Thailand as van carrying Danish tourists crashes en route to Pai party. Driver killed, three seriously hurt. Concerns mount over road safety in the region.
Three Danish tourists were seriously injured in a terrifying van accident which claimed the life of their 50-year-old Thai driver. Rescue workers and police who rushed to the scene found four tourists, all Danes, trapped inside the vehicle with the driver after it had plunged into a ravine. The passengers included 13 Danish tourists and the driver. They were travelling to a Full Moon party in Pai in Mae Hong Son.
There was a devastating accident on Thursday night in northern Thailand involving a van carrying 13 young Danish tourists.
The vehicle veered off a hillside road and plummeted into a ravine in the Pai district of Mae Hong Son province.
Afterwards, it was confirmed the collision claimed the life of the Thai driver and left all passengers injured.
Prompt response from authorities to the accident which occurred on a notorious stretch of road on the way to Pai. All tourists were 19 to 25 years of age
Three of the Danes sustained serious injuries. The incident occurred between the Mae Ya and Mae Ping checkpoints in Tambon Mae Hee. At length, it saw a prompt response from authorities.
After that, a massive rescue operation involving over two dozen people worked tirelessly to extract the trapped passengers.
Police Lieutenant Colonel Suwit Boonyaphen, Mae Hong Son tourist police inspector, gave a media briefing.
The van was carrying ten Danish women and three Danish men. It deviated from Highway 1095 at kilometre markers 82-83. The passengers aboard were all aged between 19 and 25.
The windy road in mountainous terrain is considered treacherous by locals.
The group of tourists were en route to attend the popular Full Moon Party at a restaurant in Pai. Full Moon parties in Thailand are held in the south on Ko Phangan.
Alternative full moon growing in popularity
However, this alternative has gained in popularity. In short, many travellers suggest it is a more personal experience in the scenic and peaceful uplands of Thailand
The tragic accident unfolded around 8:25 pm on Thursday.
The van careened off the road into a deep ravine. The driver, identified as Baramee Panyajachaiya, 50, sustained severe injuries and was later pronounced dead.
The injured passengers were rushed to Chiang Mai Ram and Pai hospitals for treatment. Later, three Danish tourists were reported to be in critical condition.
Preliminary investigations suggest that the driver, possibly unfamiliar with the terrain, lost control of the vehicle at a curve.
In turn, this led to the catastrophic plunge on the notorious road. The incident has raised concerns about road safety in upper northern Thailand, particularly along popular tourist routes.
Latest accident involving tourists in Thailand raises concerns about road safety. It follows another accident in November 2023 where two tourists perished
The Pai Samakkhi Karnkusol Rescue Foundation detailed the incident on its Facebook page. Certainly, it revealed the harrowing ordeal faced by the passengers.
Five travellers, including the driver, were subsequently left trapped inside the wreckage.
Afterwards, this presented a challenge to rescue efforts. Despite the frantic efforts of the rescue workers, the driver eventually succumbed to his injuries.
This tragic incident is not the first of its kind in the region. Similar accidents have occurred in the past. In addition, it highlights the ongoing problems with safety on Thailand’s road network.
Growing Pai Full Moon phenomenon sees a flourishing demand for transport on the dangerous upland roads
In particular, the need for enhanced safety measures and driver awareness. Especially on routes frequented by tourists.
Parties and events in Pai attract a significant number of foreign visitors. This is a growing phenomenon leading to increased traffic and transport services.
Last year, on Nov 10, another accident in the area occurred when a van collided with a mountain slope. It was en route to another popular tourist destination, resulting in the deaths of two foreign tourists and injuries to several others.
In that incident, a French woman and a Dutch man died.
The minivan, travelling from Chiang Mai to Pai, plunged 50 metres after hurtling through a road crash barrier. The driver lost control when a tyre burst.
Concern for three injured tourists
These incidents underscore the importance of vigilance and caution on the roads, particularly in areas with challenging terrain.
At the same time, the state of repair of such vehicles and the quality of driving must also be considered.
Authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding this latest accident. The focus presently is on providing support and medical care to the injured Danish tourists.