Chiang Mai bus crash: Families waiting for updates from authorities

Thai police said the bus was running on national highway No 118 through Ban Pang Fan village between Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai provinces in the North when the driver lost control at the 43th kilometre marker.
PHOTO: The Nation

BATU PAHAT: Family and friends of the Chiang Mai bus crash victims are waiting anxiously for updates on their loved ones from the authorities.

One relative, Goh Kim Yue, 65, said she only found out what had happened to her sister-in-law through the Internet.

"Our nightmare become a reality when the travel agent informed us about the incident at around 9pm Sunday.

"They told us to come to their office, from where they will take us to Thailand but I am praying that my family members are alright. Right now, we do not know," she said.

Sister-in-law to a male victim, who declined to be named, said that she learnt of the incident from the news and immediately contacted the travel agency.

"I have also contacted some friends from the Thai authorities but they could only confirm that of the deceased, none was my brother-in-law.

"My sister still does not know as we are too afraid to tell her. We are waiting for more information," she said.

The travel agent concerned has since received a list of the victims from Thai authorities.

Those identified as deceased included the group's team leader Png Ee Ting, 23; Tan Thin Thin, 39; Ong Chui Hoe, 53; Tan Sui Heng, 54; Ker Ah Hwee, 56; Chua Ah Kim, 56; Teng Kian Min, 57; Ker Bong Ngwang, 57; Ong Chai Hong, 58; Wong Yoke Ying, 58; Ong Pek Ming, 61; Lum See Seng, 63 and Low Chee Lan, 85.

The injured are Tan Yang Soon, Ker Shin Hui, Goh Bak Chai, Ng Too Hyiok, Lum Jia Miem, Lim Ah Gek, Lee Siew Kim, Teo Tien Chor and Lim Guat Huay.

Among the deceased were husband and wife Ker Bong Ngwang and Tan Sui Heng, who were accompanied by their daughter Ker Shin Hui, who is believed to have survived the crash.

A neighbour, who only wanted to be known as Tan, said that the family would occasionally travel together.

Describing them as good neighbours, she said that the couple were always friendly and helpful since moving into the area more than 10 years ago.

"Their daughter and two sons do not stay with them as they all work outstation, but they visit often.

"I heard of the tragedy over the news but an unsure if they are alright" she said when met at Taman Sejahtera here on Monday.