THAI BUS CRASH INJURES PRINTEMPS STAFF AND FAMILY
Byline: Amanda Birns
PARIS — Four women and two men were killed, and 33 others, including 32 Printemps department store staff and their families, were injured after their tour bus overturned on a highway outside Bangkok on Wednesday. Three people are in intensive care.
Printemps declined to release the names of the passengers or say whether staff members were among the dead.
The 38 French citizens were on the bus going to Hua Hin, a Thai beach resort, on a 12-day vacation organized by the company’s employee council. The trip started April 4. The bus flipped over when the driver lost control in heavy traffic approximately 60 miles into the trip. The driver was among the injured.
Survivors were initially transported to three area hospitals for treatment and have since been brought to Bangkok General Hospital.
A 24-hour crisis center has been established at a Bankok hotel, where victims no longer in need of medical treatment have been taken for psychological observation.
Dominique Henri Freiche, international director of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute, the French retail and distribution group that owns Printemps, flew to Thailand Wednesday to offer support to the families.
A diplomat, a French doctor and several translators from the French embassy in Thailand also went to the accident site to help local officials determine the exact cause of the accident.
The heavy traffic that the bus had encountered was attributed to the “Water Holiday” that was being celebrated Thursday in Thailand.
In cooperation with the French embassy and the French minister of foreign affairs, Partir, the French travel agency that organized the trip, will ensure the return of survivors and the bodies of the deceased to France.
A team of doctors and psychologists has been brought into the flagship here for staff members in need of support.