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Colonel Arayapan Pukbuakao wants answers to an expat death riddle

Patong Tourist Death Riddle: Police Challenge 'No Cause' Finding

Saturday, July 2, 2011
PHUKET: Phuket police are puzzled by the mysterious death of a young tourist in Patong - and upset at the inability of doctors to determine what killed him.

The 26-year-old man was found sitting in a chair on the balcony outside his accommodation in Patong, dressed in a white shirt and jeans. His tongue was protruding slightly, investigating officers found.

However, a search of the room and the man's possessions produced no clues as to what may have happened. The room had not been disturbed. There was no sign that anyone else had entered.

Yet for a man to die at the age of 26, there really should be some kind of reason.

Kathu Police Station Superintendent Colonel Arayapan Pukbuakao told Phuketwan today that the man had been found sitting in a chair on the balcony at 10.30am yesterday and taken to Patong Hospital for a medical examination.

''A doctor later issued a death certificate that said in the space for Cause of Death: 'no cause detertmined.' I am not happy with that,'' Colonel Arayapan said.

''It's not the first time doctors have failed to tell us what the cause of death is. Young doctors these days seem disinclined to take responsibility.''

Colonel Arayapan plans to meet with the Director of Patong Hospital, Dr Bhumin Silathan, and register his complaint.

It's highly likely that the man has a family who will not find closure until the cause of death can be clearly established.

Phuketwan has been given the man's name and been told that he came from Saudi Arabia, although the name is European.

Since the establishment of the quarterly meeting between Phuket's honorary consuls and Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, Phuket Police Commander Major General Pekad Tantipong has provided a list of all expat deaths on Phuket.

The list has helped to dispel chatroom gossip about ''scores of mysterious deaths'' among expats on Phuket. The honorary consuls would be up in arms if that were true.

However, there are sometimes doubts about what actually has happened in the final moments of the lives of some expats who die on Phuket.

Police who attend the scene usually offer a version of events that is seldom disputed. However, while basic post mortems can be performed on Phuket, detailed autopsies are only available in Bangkok - at the expense of the dead person's family.

And while the Coronial system of an independent review of the circumstances of the death applies in Britain even if the death has occurred overseas, there is no independent review system in Thailand.

Once the body is cremated - as so often happens on Phuket to enable easier shipment of remains to home countries - all hope of finding a cause of death ends.

If a Phuket police superintendent is now speaking out about the lack of care by doctors in identifying the reason why a tourist has died on Phuket, then it's time for honorary consuls and embassies to express concern about the process, and to seek improvements.

The man's body remains at Patong Hospital, cause of death unknown.
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Comments have been disabled for this article.


That's what happens when you mix cocaine with ya-ice. Sudden cardiac arrest but none of the usual signs in the cardiac muscle of cardiac arrest being the cause of death. The cardiac event is over in a few seconds but the heart doesn't restart.

Posted by Physician on July 2, 2011 15:40


One would assume, Physician, that the hospital did carry out toxicology tests. Time to call in Dr Pornthip!

Posted by Jamie on July 2, 2011 18:37


And you know that for sure?????
Maybe you should go and help the BIB now that you know the cause of the poor guy's death.
RIP young man.

Posted by southbound on July 2, 2011 19:49

Monday September 25, 2023
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