A “red car” – a modified pick-up truck for public transport also known as a Songthaew – rolled down a steep slope on the second floor of parking lot in Chiang Mai province, then fell five metres, killing two Thai tourists and seriously wounding a third on Tuesday.
Pol Lieutenant Patchara Tahta, of the Phuping Rajaniwet precinct, said the deceased tourists from Phang Nga were Kanokporn Tongtiram and Doungchan Pongdech, both 60. Their friend, La-eard Charoenrat, 74, was seriously wounded and was rushed to Maharaj Nakorn Chiang Mai Hospital.
Police said the three women were part of a 38-strong group tour from Phang Nga brought by to Chiang Mai by tour guide Anuwat Yoobumrung, who hired three “red cars” to transport the group from a downtown hotel to visit Wat Phra That Doi Suthep and Phuping Rajaniwet Palace.
At the conclusion of the visit, the three women were the first to arrive back at their pickup in the parking lot at Phuping Rajaniwet Palace. They sat in the back while the driver stood at the front summoning the other visitors to his vehicle.
The truck suddenly rolled backwards down a slope and fell five metres to the ground floor. Kanokporn and Doungchan fell out of the vehicle, which then crushed them resulting in their instant deaths. The truck also crashed into some souvenir shops along the way.