Drain cover theft leads to ugly accident

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Just a day after residents of a Sattahip neighborhood complained to authorities about thieves stealing drain covers on Soi Lung Pho, a motorcyclist driving down the blocked off road was seriously injured when he drove into one of the open pipes.

Saman Meepiam, 35, required more than 10 stitches to his head and face after his motorbike plunged into an open manhole around 4:45 a.m. Dec. 10. The Tawan Kitchen waiter said he’d been driving to a 7-Eleven market on Sukhumvit Road about a kilometer away. The light on his bike was off and he didn’t notice either holes in Soi Lung Pho or the fact locals had blocked off the road to traffic.

Rescuers arrive and after checking over the victim, begin to hoist the motorbike out of the drain. Rescuers arrive and after checking over the victim, begin to hoist the motorbike out of the drain.

Village Chief Natchai Sangsri had set up the barrier the day before after three iron grates went missing, presumably from thieves stealing them for scrap. However, warning signs they’d also placed there had apparently been stolen by the same thieves after they returned to find the road blocked.

Pairoj Malakul Na Ayutthaya, Mayor of Khet Udomsak Sub-district had pledged to have the grates replaced, but the accident came before he could get any results.

Natchai said residents reported seeing three men driving a motorbike and a Toyota pickup truck on Soi Lung Pho after midnight take the covers. It’s unknown if the thieves are involved with the nearly 40 iron grates that have been pulled off of Sattahip streets this year, costing the district more than 200,000 baht in expenses and causing several accidents.