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Road Collapse Incident Prompts Investigation and Safety Measures

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In a recent city incident that garnered public attention, a dump truck found itself partially engulfed by a road collapse, leading to traffic disruptions and a search for the root cause of the mishap. On November 8, 2023, Mr. Chatchat Sitthiphan, the Governor of Bangkok, visited the site to provide initial insights into the situation.

The event unfolded at the entrance of Sukhumvit Soi 64/1, where a section of the road gave way, trapping the truck and causing traffic congestion. Mr. Chatchat Sitthiphan explained that the mishap occurred at the entrance of a tunnel owned by the Electricity Authority, which houses underground cables. During the day, workers were laying a concrete slab with supporting beams to cover the tunnel, while at night, after 10 p.m., the road was reopened for workers to carry out their tasks. To avert similar incidents in the future, officials plan to implement enhanced road safety measures.

The underground electrical cable pond into which the truck descended belongs to the Electricity Authority and is one of around 700 similar ponds in Bangkok. Although the ten-wheeled truck adhered to regulations, it appears that the cargo it was carrying exceeded the weight limit, estimated at around 36 tons, beyond the permissible 35-ton limit.

The suspected cause of the collapse is a malfunctioning steel beam in the pond’s cover, which failed to close smoothly. Continuous traffic passing over the area over time led to the beam’s breakage and the subsequent road collapse. Repairs are expected to be time-consuming, potentially lasting until the evening.

Mr. Sakmongkol Tasago, a 29-year-old truck driver involved in the incident, shared his experience. He had been transporting soil from a condominium construction site to a nearby location when the incident occurred. He noticed that the concrete slab supporting the rear wheel of his truck had collapsed, causing the front of the vehicle to tilt upwards. Mr. Tasago quickly exited the truck and observed that a taxi following behind had also sustained damage.

Regarding potential injuries, Mr. Tasago mentioned that he was driving a truck for the first time and was uncertain about whether the vehicle was overloaded or not. The soil had not been weighed during loading, but he estimated it to be no more than 20 tons.

This incident underscores the importance of regular infrastructure maintenance and adherence to weight limits on city roads. Authorities are committed to implementing the necessary safety measures to prevent similar accidents in the future, and the investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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