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Sarawut Songsivilai Orders Probe into Rama II Highway Scaffolding Collapse: Ensuring Safety on Thailand’s Roads

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In an event that could easily be straight out of an action-packed blockbuster, a hulking piece of steel scaffolding took a nosedive onto the bustling Rama II Highway in Samut Sakhon province, not just interrupting the Sunday afternoon calm but also setting the stage for an urgent investigation ordered by none other than the top dog at the Department of Highways, Mr. Sarawut Songsivilai.

Imagine, if you will, the scene: it’s a lazy afternoon, perhaps you’re musing over the gentle hum of your car’s engine or the latest catchy tune on the radio, when suddenly, out of nowhere, the sky darkens for a moment and down comes a giant lattice of steel, missing your car by mere inches. That was the reality for drivers on the Bangkok-bound side of Rama II Highway at 3.17pm on a day that will surely live long in their memories.

But fear not, for Sarawut Songsivilai, the knight in shining armor at the helm of the Department of Highways, has swung into action, ensuring that this is more than just an eyebrow-raising incident. Not only has he called for a deep dive into the why’s and how’s of this steel behemoth’s unscheduled descent, but he’s also put the word out for a thorough check and securing of all steel scaffolding strung along the ambitious Motorway 82 (M82) project—an elevated road stretching a whopping 81 kilometers from the heart of Bangkok through the provinces of Samut Sakhon and Samut Songkhram, all the way to Ratchaburi.

The incident happened on a section of this soon-to-be marvel of engineering in the Mahachai sub-district of Samut Sakhon, towering at a vertigo-inducing height of 14 meters above the ground. Luckily, by some stroke of fortune, this heavyweight of the scaffolding world managed to make its earth-shattering debut without causing injury to any of the highway’s users.

Not one to dawdle, Mr. Sarawut and his team had the highway clear and back in business faster than you can say “structural integrity,” with the debris cleared and traffic flowing freely again by 3.45pm. Yet, Mr. Sarawut is adamant that this should not just be swept under the rug, insisting on a swift conclusion to the investigation.

It’s no secret that Rama II Highway has been somewhat of a construction nightmare over the years, with projects dragging their heels and causing more than a few brows to furrow among the commuting populace. Not to mention, this isn’t the first time the highway has been the site of structural misadventures; from U-turn bridge beams taking the plunge to concrete slabs bidding adieu to their lofty perches, the list of mishaps is not exactly short. Oh, and let’s not forget the time a crane decided to drop its basket in a rather dramatic fashion, resulting in tragic casualties.

Indeed, even Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has thrown his hat into the ring, issuing a stern warning to contractors to tighten their safety belts and ensure that the construction of the elevated motorway is not only swift but also secure. An admonition that now, in light of recent events, seems not just timely but downright prescient.

As the dust settles (literally) on this latest highway drama, one thing is clear: the road to progress is not just paved with good intentions but also, occasionally, with steel scaffolding. Here’s hoping that the tale of Rama II Highway and its airborne steel visitor will soon be one of triumph over adversity, a testament to the resilience of both the highway’s users and those tasked with its creation and care.


  1. BangkokBill April 15, 2024

    Not surprised, this highway has been a problem for years. All talk, no action from the authorities until something falls from the sky!

    • SarahJ April 15, 2024

      Seriously? It’s easy to point fingers but managing a massive infrastructure project like this is incredibly complex. Accidents happen.

      • BangkokBill April 15, 2024

        Accidents happen because of negligence. This isn’t the first time, and yet, here we are again. Where’s the accountability?

    • Engineer_Thai April 15, 2024

      As an engineer, I can tell you that such incidents are not taken lightly. The problem often lies with the contractors cutting corners.

  2. Nok_Lover April 15, 2024

    Wow, imagine being right there when it happened! Scary stuff honestly, but glad no one was hurt.

    • PeacefulPedestrian April 15, 2024

      Honestly, it’s a miracle no one was injured. Makes you wonder about the safety of all other construction projects around the city.

  3. PolicyPundit April 15, 2024

    This incident demands more than a probe. It’s time for a comprehensive review of safety standards and contractor accountability.

    • RealistRaj April 15, 2024

      Totally agree, but will it actually lead to meaningful changes? History suggests otherwise.

  4. UrbanExplorer April 15, 2024

    Besides safety, the endless construction disrupts daily life. Traffic jams, noise, and now falling scaffolding? Quality of life is going down.

    • SunshineSally April 15, 2024

      But think of the long-term benefits though. Once it’s done, traffic should improve significantly.

    • UrbanExplorer April 15, 2024

      That’s what they say, but at what cost? Years of disruption, and there’s always a ‘next project’ anyway.

  5. SafetyFirst April 15, 2024

    The real question here is why the safety inspections failed to prevent this? Someone skipped a step.

    • DoubtingDave April 15, 2024

      Did they though? Or is it the system that’s flawed? We need stricter regulations and random inspections.

      • InspectorGadget April 15, 2024

        Random inspections are key. Also, tech like drones could help monitor these sites more efficiently.

  6. Optimistic_Olly April 15, 2024

    Glad to see the prompt response from the Department of Highways. Shows they’re taking it seriously at least.

    • CynicalCindy April 15, 2024

      Taking it seriously? They’re scrambling because it became public. This is damage control, not genuine concern.

      • Optimistic_Olly April 15, 2024

        Maybe so, but public pressure can lead to improvements. It’s better than no response at all.

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