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Promotional photo from Phuket's  World Bungee site online

Killer Patong Bungy Jump Was Unregistered, No Insurance: Firestorm Over Phuket Tourist Safety Expected

Thursday, May 28, 2015
PHUKET: The Phuket bungy jump where a tourist plunged to his death yesterday had been running for 13 years as an unregistered business with no insurance, it emerged today.

The Mayor of Patong, Chalermluk Kebsub, ordered the World Bungee Jump closed immediately today. She said she demanded the equipment be checked and upgraded in June last year.

Abdullah Adel Kadhmbahman, 25, from Kuwait, bounced back up once attached to the cable after making the 55-metre leap, Phuketwan learned today.

Then his ankle straps broke free from the elastic bond. Instead of crashing safely into a target pond, he hit the ground nearby, breaking his neck.

Staff at the bungy did not call an ambulance but instead bundled the seriously injured customer into the back of a pickup to carry him to Patong Hospital.

Questions remain about who actually owns the bungy premises.

A man named Vinat Jantarawiboonkul told reporters today that he owned the bungy venue.

However, staff at the jump wear t-shirts emblazoned with the words 'Mayor Chai-Annan Suthikul.' The mayor heads the local Kathu district and residents have always assumed that he owned the bungy jump.

Phuket Governor Nisit Jansomwong, already facing a barrage of criticism over lax safety standards for tourists on Phuket and in the surrounding region, ordered the Kathu chief officer, Saiyan Chaichanawong, to investigate.

The man who claimed to own the bungy venue, Khun Vinat, said he had run the business for 13 years and it had ''nothing to do with Mayor Chai-Annan.''

He admitted to having no registration and no permission to run the bungy jump. There was also no insurance.

''We will pay for everything,'' he told reporters. Records show there were 262 customers at the bungy last month.

Patong police have confiscated the defective bungy cord and will send it to Bangkok to be checked by experts.

The Kuwait tourist travelled to Phuket alone. He came to the jump about 4pm and paid 1650 baht for the fatal thrill.

His body remains at Patong Hospital. Text on the bungy jump site online says ''We have been established for ten years, with safety standards our No.1 priority.''

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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Amazing Thailand totally unbelievable

Posted by Michael on May 28, 2015 18:06

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actually , I'm more interested , than "everything will be paid"( remember, under Thai law no moral damages, only burial expenses and some maintenance for related persons for few years)

Who Will Go To Jail?

1. someone from owners/management
2. someone from local government for dereliction of duty

Right answer: NOBODY

(applauds)

Posted by Sue on May 28, 2015 18:11

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The firestorm will last for just a few days....
13 years! - I somehow feel their bookkeeping (if they have) shows monthly donation expenses.

Posted by Mr. K on May 28, 2015 18:21

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It was commentated a while back about the long term effects of Pian's reign over Patong- I guess this is just one of many things that will rear its head over time.

Difficult to notice a bungy jump operating under one's nose for 12 years

Posted by Mister Ree on May 28, 2015 18:46

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Shouldn't the owner be facing some sort of prison sentence since someone has died due to his negligence of the law.

Posted by Tbs on May 28, 2015 18:48

Editor Comment:

There is the need to determine who is the owner, and have the evidence first.

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"There is the need to determine who is the owner, and have the evidence first."

No, Ed there is a need to shut it down immediately.

Posted by Elephants Gerald on May 28, 2015 19:14

Editor Comment:

It has been closed already, EG. Read the article

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I did the flight of the gibbon in Chang mai and the equipment was very good quality(French) but doubtful about these ones that have sprung up on the hill between rawai and kata

Posted by Michael on May 28, 2015 19:38

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This one incident clearly and openly displays all that is wrong with Phuket.

1. Business unregistered for 13 years, in that 13 years *no one* noticed or bothered to check? Or bribe money was paid all this time?

2. Patong Mayor 'checked' said unregistered business and ordered them to 'upgrade their equipment', but did not shut them down. Why?

3. They have no insurance. Why?

4. T-shirts worn by staff read Mayor C... but business actually owned by Khun V... .

Local government and those running these unregistered business (jet-ski rental another example) so obscured by smoke and mirrors that it is difficult to hold *anyone* responsible.

Note to tourists: This is how they want it to be.

BUYER BEWARE ON PHUKET.

Posted by pktbeachgoer on May 28, 2015 19:48

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MR,
The logic how this could have occurred for so long is understandable and we all suffer from it sometimes.

I have a large dead hollow tree in my yard and every day for the last 5 or so years I have watched it gradually decay, split and increase how much it leans. I know it should be chopped down and I know one day it will fall down probably crashing through the garage, onto my cars and causing damage.
I am amazed it is still standing as I though it would have fallen years ago. I don't want to chop it down because I am now interested to see how much it can split and lean before it does fall.

When it eventually falls and causes damage people will then consider me unlucky despite me knowing for many years this would eventually occur and I failed to take any action.

How unlucky will I be. None at all. Just lucky that it took so long to happen.

Posted by MoW on May 28, 2015 19:58

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... what about tax bill of this business , please, anyone?

Posted by Sue on May 28, 2015 21:07

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Ed,

owners , unless they are performing also the function of management, can be held liable only to those offences that relates to them - lack of registration, tax and similar .

However, all operational issues is only management responsibility. Owners of incorporated business has no liability whatsoever for any operational issues,even if they approved them.

However, I am bit puzzled how to treat the current situation of non-incorporated business,and what legal duty and responsibility lines should be drawn

Posted by Sue on May 28, 2015 21:12

Editor Comment:

If the man who was assumed to be the general manager is now claiming to be the owner, it will take a bit of sorting.

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looks like they test the cables with tourists.

Posted by mike on May 28, 2015 22:00

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Perhaps on visa form next to asking you how much you earn, they should put in have you wrote your will .
No safety anywhere and biggest concern of fourists according to recent data posted here.

Maybe TAT should start marketing to euthanasia groups.

Posted by Michael on May 28, 2015 22:11

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Perhaps on visa form next to asking you how much you earn, they should put in have you wrote your will .
No safety anywhere and biggest concern of fourists according to recent data posted here.

Maybe TAT should start marketing to euthanasia groups.
Ii

Posted by Michael on May 28, 2015 22:14

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"The Mayor of Patong, Chalermluk Kebsub, ordered the World Bungee Jump closed immediately today. She said she demanded the equipment be checked and upgraded in June last year",

Anyone else pick up on the fact that the mayor had ordered it closed a year ago?

Wot! No follow-up.

Posted by Sir Burr on May 29, 2015 00:56

Editor Comment:

No, the mayor ordered the jump closed today. In Juner last year, she demanded the equipment be checked and upgraded.

Your ability to comprehend seems to be going backwards.

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'She said she demanded the equipment be checked and upgraded in June last year.'

How do you check an unregistered business and not discover it' s unregistered?

Also, way things like this work, someone like mayor does not visit without contact with owners, thus mayor or her staff know exactly who owns this place

Posted by Lashay on May 29, 2015 02:14

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Lashay,

exactly my thoughts.

And, how the mayor "told" the bungy jump business it, by the mean of verbal administrative order, that leaves zero trace of evidence , and has zero legal value? To by the written administrative order, how it should be in this case?

And then whom she addresses the order?

(Criminal) dereliction of the duty is highly suspected.

Posted by Sue on May 29, 2015 06:41

Editor Comment:

It was a written order, the mayor says.

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Why was not ambulance called? Could have saved is life. Taken on a pick-up (or even moved) with a broken neck can not be good.

Posted by Anonymous on May 29, 2015 08:53

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No insurance not a registered business no permission to operate and certainly no emergency management plan and this rolled on for 12 years they falsely claimed Australian standards and a association with a Phuket official via wearing T shirts like a trademark pretending they are something they are not, a lot of people must be held accountable and hopefully prosecuted to the full extent for their actions being negligence and non compliance that resulted in a in a death

Posted by slickmelb on May 29, 2015 10:39

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One more reason to say bye bye Phuket to all tourists, so many tragic and bad things happen here, good bye Phuket !

Posted by Expat Scandinavia on May 29, 2015 11:41

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@ Lashay. The answer on your question is simple about this 13 year long illegal business case.
It is a lack of self respect, sincerity, honesty and incompetence of Phuket authorities and officials.
Of course they have known 13 years about this illegal operation bungy jump business.
Any other explanation? Please, than correct me.

@Michael. In Amazing Thailand is nothing unvelievable.
Believable in Thailand is the thai professionalism in no-law-enforcement.

Posted by Kurt on May 29, 2015 11:49

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Ed,

to whom the written order by the Mayor was issued, giving that "business is unregistered"..?

Still, suspected dereliction of duty, at least in that respect.

Posted by Sue on May 29, 2015 13:36

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A foreign customer became a victim and died because of a 13 year illegal bungi jump organization not clled medical servicec/ambulance but shuffled the victim on the back of a Van to bring him to a hospital, trying to cover up the accident?
Ok, facts are clear! Now, who is responsible? Prime minister, NCPO, Patong Mayor?
Who is strong enough to answer the call of illegal operations with all the idiot thai paperwork in good order for 13 years, signed by thai authorities, should give answers.
Bangkok government now has a case to handle.of Phuket officials corruptions.
A tourist did die, Bangkok!

Posted by Kurt on May 29, 2015 16:30

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"We will pay for everything".
Someone needs to get that in writing and identify exactly who is "we" because "we" might not be happy to read the word "everything".

Posted by MoW on May 29, 2015 16:44

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@ MoW, oh dear. You better be realistic. All the sayings are just thai lip service. No body will pay.
I remember you of that ferry fire break out last month, Same bla bla. Nothing done, tourists were ( without clothes. food wear) completely depend on their Consulates and Embassy. All forgotten after tourist left. Case closed.. Easy to do when it concerns tourists, yes?

Posted by Kurt on May 29, 2015 17:51

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Kurt,
My first thought upon reading this statement was the same. The statement to the former incident from memory was, " we are fully insured" which we later found our was not comprehensive and did not cover any passenger losses.
The previous boat incident however happened in open water whereas this incident happened on land, which is owned by someone or an enterprise and as a business was being conducted upon this land, apparently without authorisation or necessary permits and without insurance, whether public liability or specifically related to the business activity, this has created a liability problem for the land owner.
Ian Y is probably the best person to comment but as the business had been conducted on this land for a period of 13 years without any notice to cease or notice that the business was trespassing, the land owner would find it hard to argue he did not authorise the business to operate.
If this was a normal tenant landowner arrangement, the landowner, before allowing entry onto or for the business to commence should have set the terms of this agreement which would include having approvals, permits, safety certificates and insurances to protect himself from any claim.
He has knowingly allowed, whether by act or omission, the public to enter upon his land to engage in a commercial fee for service activity which is illegal, unauthorised, lacking adequate safety procedures and without consumer protection insurances in place.
The bungy jump operator and the land owner will probably be determined to hold joint lability for this fatality and for any damages.

Posted by MoW on May 30, 2015 00:14

Editor Comment:

It does seem extraordinary that a dangerous thrill ride could be allowed to operate for 13 years without registration or checks. We know of other rides about which there appears to be no great certainty of their safety. Patong bay is full of them.

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Kurt,
If we were to consider the fatality from the opposing side most x Treme activities require a waiver to be signed by the consumer.
In most cases this will be a requirement of the insurance company to limit any claim and if they are well written they are very tight and you basically sign away your life. I have also seen some that are not very good and would be considered almost worthless.
However, this situation and the cause would probably fall outside the protection of any waiver as it was caused by equipment failure and the principles of 'force majeure' or just an accident would not apply.
The fatality was caused by either a structural failure of the equipment or inadequate training, operation or safety inspections.
Whether one or number of issues is eventually determined as the cause it will be a rather simple argument that they were inadequate as a death occurred and the purpose of having these in place is to avoid such occurrence.
The bungy jump business would have to produce records for a long period of time showing they complied with standards and best practices for every part of their business activity.
If the reports are accurate, it appears some type of equipment failure was probably the cause and when you add this to the quality of medical treatment at the time of the incident and method of transportation of the injured to hospital the owners and employees will face many problems trying to disprove negligence.

Posted by MoW on May 30, 2015 00:57

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I agree Alan. It is difficult to see how such an obvious attraction could fly under the radar.

Whether the business had insurance or not is probably irrelevant as I doubt they would honour any claim for a business activity that appears unauthorised and illegal. One of the first obligations of the insured would be to ensure such approvals were obtained and kept up to date.
My understanding is that it is impossible to obtain insurance for conduct of an intentional illegal activity.
If it was possible the marujuana growers association would be able to obtain crop insurance and drug dealers for product liability.

Posted by MoW on May 30, 2015 06:38

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The Mayor is the owner, no doubt. If he's not the owner, why would the staffs wear T-shirts with his name on them?

Posted by Alex on May 30, 2015 13:12

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Why wasn't my comment included? I didn't use any foul language or wrote lies?

Posted by christian on May 30, 2015 20:33

Editor Comment:

You are in no position as an anonymous online commenter to speculate about real-life people by committing barefaced libel.

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As to wear a mayors name on staff shirts, is or has been, one of the safest ways for thais to run business. It would normally have other officials think twice before launching any kind of inspection. It is actually so much in the dna that anyone working for one of the bigger family names proudly annonces who's money he is siding with.

Posted by yoki on May 30, 2015 23:59

Editor Comment:

Indeed. So no real conclusion can be drawn from the shirt. It's like posting a 'Shooting Range' sticker on your car, a useful deterrent.

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Ironic to think it has taken a tradegy for the authorities to wake up, and enforce the correct health and safety measures. Allowing such a potentially high-risk ride to go unchecked for so long is completely unacceptable, therefore questions should surely be raised if the authorities were paid off from the amount of huge revenue gained each month to look the other way?

One wonders how many other establishments are flouting the law in a similar fashion?

Posted by reader on May 31, 2015 20:44


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