Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Yesterday, Liberal MP Dan McTeague called on Harper to evacuate Canadians in Thailand. Harper refused. Here's the result.

Two Canadians killed as they try to escape Thailand: police

Tue Dec 2, 12:26 PM

BANGKOK (AFP) - 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 Tuesday.
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.


Anonymous said...

Ottawa's inaction frustrates stranded tourists
While some Canadians have managed to leave Bangkok, fragile senior travellers are running out of money and medication

Globe and Mail
With a report from The Canadian Press

December 2, 2008

VANCOUVER -- Some Canadians stranded in Thailand are calling on Ottawa to send charter flights to fly them home as the Bangkok airport blockade enters its second week.

They say they are running short of cash, some are ill and others need to renew prescriptions for vital medication.

A Vancouver-based guided tour group that was taking 44 travellers - most of them elderly - through Asia said it has run out of ideas for getting safely out of Thailand without government assistance.

Canada's ambassador to Thailand, David Sproule, met with Mr. Husar's group last weekend and helped travellers find medication. However, he said the government would not fly the Canadians home.

Mr. McDonald, a former NHL announcer, expressed growing frustration with the lack of a concerted federal government effort to get the stranded Canadians home. That frustration, he said, is what prompted embassy officials to take action.

"The embassy people listened to our pleas and in fact became agitated, as did some of our members, with the response they were getting," he said.

"I don't think [Ottawa] saw the seriousness of the situation, and may not see the seriousness now."

Dr Mike said...

Would have helped if one of their names were Dominic D`Alessandro.

Gov`t friends first , everyone else second or not at all.

Dr Mike.

Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight.

Scenario 1:

CBC reporter Mellissa Fung opts to cover Afhganistan as a war reporter. Fails to follow normal safety protocol by not agreeing to meet people at a prearranged time and place, and as a a consequence is unfortunately kidnapped and held ransom.

Harper Government reaction: Harper calls the Afghan President, Devotes "hundreds" of people in the PMO to secure her safe release throgh a hostage exchange.

Scenario 2:

Some 80 Canadians are on holiday in Thailand. Many are seniors. Thailand airport is occupied by demonstrators intent on over throwing the government. Canadians are not allowed to leave country through commercial airline means. Many are running low on their medications. Other countries evacuate their citizens by air and by ground.

Harper Government reaction: Nothing, you're on your own.