BANGKOK, August 9 (RIA Novosti) – Twenty-six Russian tourists were injured, three of them seriously, when a bus went out of control and overturned in western Thailand, local media reported Friday.
The bus, carrying 44 Russian and three Thai nationals, overturned in the country’s Sai Yok district after the driver lost control of the vehicle, The Bangkok Post quoted police investigator Lieutenant Mekin Kongsaeng as saying.
The newspaper said the three badly injured passengers were all female, aged 12, 43 and 44, and were taken to a local hospital.
Pichit Sakul, the bus driver, told police that he lost control of the single-deck bus because its steering wheel malfunctioned. The vehicle then went off the road, struck a small hill and overturned, the newspaper said, adding that the driver had been taken into custody for further investigation.
A RIA Novosti correspondent later said there were 30 not 44 Russian tourists on the bus.
All the Russians who were injured in the crash are to be provided qualified medical assistance, as medical insurance is part of the tour package, Tez Tour director Alexander Burtin said.
Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Russian Tour Operators, had earlier told RIA Novosti that the Russian tourists had apparently paid for the excursion from an unofficial "street" agency so they might not be entitled to such insurance.