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Two Canadians Killed as They Try to Escape Thailand: Police
Two Canadian tourists stranded by Bangkok's airport closures were killed and a Briton seriously injured in a car crash as they rushed to catch a flight out of southern Thailand, police said on Dec. 2., 2008.

Two Canadian men aged 63 and 48 were killed early Monday morning in southern Surat Thani province, as they headed to Phuket international airport, while a British woman was also wounded in the crash.

"The van overturned and plunged into the roadside after it tried to avoid crashing with a car in front, which suddenly slammed on the brakes," said Captain Charkrit Nima of the local police force.

He said six tourists were travelling in the van in the hope of catching a Cathay Pacific flight from Phuket, which is handling extra flights out of the kingdom because of the week-long siege of Bangkok's two airports.

A Hong Kong national was killed in a similar traffic accident on Sunday as he also tried to get to Phuket to catch a flight back home.

Up to 350,000 passengers are estimated to have missed flights out of Thailand by the week-long closure of the huge Suvarnabhumi international airport, and the shuttering since last Thursday of the smaller Don Mueang.

They were closed after protesters seized the main terminals as they upped a six-month campaign to topple the government.

Many tourists are flying out of provincial airports including Phuket and Chiang Mai. France, Spain and Australia have sent special flights to evacuate desperate citizens stuck in Thailand.

Tourists are also scrambling to leave via the small, Vietnam-era U-Tapao airport southeast of Bangkok, where queues snake round the basic terminal and thousands of passengers jostle to get their luggage through one scanner.

Check-in facilities have also been opened at a hotel and a convention centre in Bangkok to try to work through the backlog of frustrated holidaymakers. (AFP)






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