THE Capital’s Thai and Buddhist communities are in shock today following a horrific car smash on Christmas Eve which claimed the lives of three monks.
The Buddhist monks, who were originally from Thailand, died when the car they were travelling in was involved in a head-on crash on the A68, around a mile and a half south of Pathhead, at around 7.30am.
Police are understood to have yesterday visited the Dhammapadipa Temple in Slateford Road, Edinburgh, as part of their inquiries, and have issued a public appeal for information.
A representative of the temple said: “It’s been a big shock for the Thai community and they’re still coming to terms with what’s happened. It’s very tragic.
“We haven’t held any ceremonies for them yet, but we will do so once the dust has settled.”
It is understood that one of the monks, who died had a close connection with a temple in Aberdeen, while the other two were based in London. Ceremonies are also set to take place at those temples following the tragedy.
All three were back seat passengers in the northbound Nissan Note and died at the scene, following the collision with a Skoda Octavia which was heading in the opposite direction.
The female driver of the Nissan managed to free herself from the car while a male passenger had to be freed from the wreckage.
Both were taken to the Royal Infirmary to be treated for internal injuries that are not believed to be life-threatening.
It has been reported that the Thai consul is set to travel from London to visit the survivors, and that the bodies of the deceased will be returned to their temples once the police conclude their inquiries.
The male driver of the Skoda was also taken to the Royal Infirmary, although it is believed that he did not suffer a serious injury. The crash caused the gold Nissan to flip onto its roof and police shut the road as they carried out their investigations.
Inspector Simon Bradshaw, of Lothian and Borders Police, said: “This is a tragic incident, and we are currently in the process of carrying out inquiries.”