11 July 2024

Bangkok police will reconsider the use of shipping containers to block anti-government protesters after a fatal road accident last night (Saturday). A motorcyclist was killed when he rammed his vehicle into one of the containers on Samsen Road, in the Dusit district of Bangkok.

Pol Maj-Gen Piya Tavichai, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, told the media today (Sunday) that police are still waiting for an autopsy report adding, however, that the use of containers to block roads will have to be reviewed following the accident.

According to rescue workers, the motorcyclist, identified as Noppawait na Ratchasima, 50, was still conscious and could respond to questions when they arrived at the scene. They said the victim eventually died from the wounds he sustained in the accident.

One of the rescue workers said he questioned the victim’s friend, who claimed they had drinks together before they headed for home on two motorbikes, adding that the victim might not have seen that some workers were removing containers from the road and collided with them.

Pol Maj-Gen Piya also said that police have made preparations to cope with two protest groups this afternoon, one led by former red-shirt leader Nattawut Saikua and political activist Sombat Boonngarm-anong at the Asoke-Sukhumvit intersection and the other led by a group of young protesters called “ReDem” at Din Daeng intersection.

He said that the protest yesterday, organized by the “United Thammasat and Demonstration” group, initially at the Swiss Embassy on Wireless Road and later at Ratchaprasong intersection, was peaceful. The protest ended prematurely due to heavy rain.

The protest at Din Daeng intersection, however, by the so-called “Talugas” group, which is comprised of mostly of teenagers, was violent with some of the protesters going on a rampage, smashing traffic lights, damaging surveillance cameras and setting fire to the fence at the Army Brass Band Department on Vibhavadi Rangsit highway.

He claimed that police had video footage of about 10 of the suspected vandals and will try to locate them for prosecution for causing public unrest and damaging public property.

Since July, he said, police have arrested 660 people for protest-related offences and have filed charges against 403.

He also repeated his warning to parents of underage protesters that they can be held accountable for offences committed by their children.