Thailand’s Deadly Adventures Kill People Regularly.

Twice a year I run stories reminding everyone that Thailand’s deadly adventures, its rides, are nothing like Disney’s. Nothing. Note that, in Thailand The maximum penalty for negligence causing death is 10 years in jail and a fine of 20,000 baht ($600). Most offenders receive a small fine and no jail time. Here’s the most recent series of unfortunate (but avoidable) events:

A Kuwaiti tourist was killed in a bungee jump accident at the popular Patong beach in Phuket Wednesday evening, police said. Pol Maj Thirasak Boonsaeng rushed to the hospital and found the body of a Kuwaiti man on a bed. Doctors had performed an x-ray and found that he suffered broken neck and broken right lib. A hospital official said a pick-up truck delivered the tourist and the driver initially claimed that the tourist fainted and passed out. But the hospital staff did not believe him and pressed for more clarification before the driver admitted that the tourist fell from a bungee jump. The driver then sped off. Police told reporters that a link between the rope and the elastic cable of the bungee jump broke off while he was falling down. Police will investigate to determine if it was an accident or  carelessness.

Elephant gores man to death at Thai beachside restaurant
“An elephant killed a 28-year-old Thai man and injured his colleague as they were eating dinner at a beachside restaurant in eastern Thailand, police said on Wednesday.

The local telecoms employee died in hospital after the elephant gored his chest with its tusk as he ate hotpot with a fellow worker in the coastal city of Rayong late Monday.

“They were talking to the mahout [elephant keeper] about buying food for the elephant when it suddenly stabbed one man in the chest with its tusk and kicked the other,” local police Lieutenant Thawat Nongsingha said.

The mahout has been charged with offences including violating animal welfare legislation and negligence causing death, Thawat said. He added the mahout had been released from custody while the elephant was still under the mahout’s care”.

Author John Stapleton, an Australian journalist who lives in Thailand, says, ‘Life in Thailand is cheap. And the deaths of foreigners often go unlamented; even unrecorded. Tourists are still given few warnings of the reality of the situation they are entering.’

Sure, the tone of the book is alarmist, but its underlying message is pretty clear: even if they appear calm (they’re often sedated) don’t approach wild animals unless you’re capable of retreating quickly. Don’t rely on gear (like bungee cords) unless you’re familiar with its correct usage and have inspected it thoroughly yourself. It’s that simple.

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