A tour bus carrying Chinese tourists has plunged off a road on the Thai island of Phuket, killing three and injuring 16.

Police Col. Noppadon Thiraprawat says the bus was traveling downhill, lost control and fell into an embankment Wednesday in Chalong district.

He says the three Chinese tourists killed were two women and a man. Fifteen Chinese tourists and a Thai guide suffered minor injuries.

According to Noppadon, the bus' Thai driver said the brake was not working, causing the vehicle to plunge off the winding road.

Noppadon said the driver would face charges of causing deaths by reckless driving.

The southern island of Phuket is a popular destination among Thai and foreign tourists. While best known for its beautiful beaches, the island is notorious for its hilly roads.