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Thai massage missive

Bangkok, Jan. 27 (Reuters): A massage a day keeps the Thai death toll at bay.

That’s the message from Thailand’s health ministry, which said today it planned to set up traditional massage services at petrol stations to help motorists relieve stress and, hopefully, cut the road toll. The ministry, in a statement, said it was working with a Thai fuel company to provide the services in 21 petrol stations on major inter-city highways and around Bangkok from next month.

“The more hours people continue to drive on roads, the less concentration motorists tend to have and the more accidents are likely to occur,” Vichai Chokevivat, head of the ministry’s department of Thai traditional medicine, said. “A 15-minute pause for stretching or massage will help relieve their stress,” Vichai said. On average, two people die in road accidents every hour in Thailand — one of the world’s worst accident rates, the ministry said.

Piano Man survives crash

Stony Brook, New York (Reuters): Singer songwriter Billy Joel apparently lost control of his Mercedes-Benz and crashed his car into a tree on Long Island on Saturday night, but was released from hospital Sunday morning, police said. Joel, known for such hits as Piano Man and Uptown Girl, was taken to East Hampton airport and flown to Stony Brook University Hospital for treatment after his 2002 model car went off the roadway, police said. Firefighters extricated Joel from his vehicle, which crashed at 10.33 pm on Saturday in Sag Harbor, New York, the village police chief Thomas Fabiano said in a statement.


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