British Teens Die In Thailand Bus Crash
8:05pm 30th June 2011
(Updated 3:04am 1st July 2011)
Three British students on a holiday of a lifetime before they were due to start university have been killed in a horror bus crash in Thailand.
The trio were Bruno Melling-Firth, 19, Conrad Quashie, 19, and Maximilian Boomgaarden-Cook, 19 - all friends from The Charter School in Dulwich.
They died instantly when a bus struck the back of their coach as they travelled to the northern capital of Chiang Mai late on Monday.
A Korean passenger was also killed in the smash, while more than 40 were injured.
Another friend travelling with the young men suffered minor injuries and was taken to hospital while another walked away unscathed.
The London teenagers had only left from Heathrow airport four days earlier.
Shocked friends and family have paid tribute to the three teenagers on social networking websites.
Sam Verissimo tweeted: "RIP Conrad Quashie and Bruno Melling - great loss."
MisterGriffiths described the news of his friends' deaths as "heartbreaking news" on his Twitter page.
And a post on a Facebook page titled 'RIP Max O'Neill Boomgaarden Cook' says: "Always loved, never forgotten, I still can't believe you're gone bro. Rest In Peace."
Max's father Gerhard Boomgaarden told the Evening Standard he was "absolutely devastated" at the loss of his son.
"I did not know human bodies could produce so many tears," he told the paper. "It is such an intense pain that will never go away."
He described his son as "a very boisterious child" who "had a great future".
The 48-year-old father said his "incredibly bright boy" planned to study history and politics at Manchester University.
His friend and fellow victim, Conrad, was also reportedly due to begin studying history at Manchester in September.
The Foreign Office has confirmed the incident and said there was a total of five British students on the bus.
A spokesman said the two survivors, who have not been named, have been given consular assistance.
He added: "The families of the deceased have been informed and we are helping them through this extremely difficult time."
Thailand's roads are known to be home to some of the most horrific crashes - with thousands of fatal accidents involving buses occurring each year.
In 1999, two British pensioners were killed when their tourist minibus turned over on the slopes of Inthanon Moutain, 350 miles north of Bangkok.