7 year old girl dies in school van in eastern Thailand

A 7 year old Grade 2 student died in a school van yesterday at Ploenchit Wittaya school in Chon Buri province, eastern Thailand, after she was left in the van all day.

At 5pm yesterday, officers from Phan Thong Police Station received a report that a child had died inside a van at the “famous” school in Pan Thong district.

Police, rescue workers, and doctors from Phan Thong hospital rushed to the school where they found the body of 7 year old Khemnit, or “Nong Ji Hoon,” lying on the floor in the back of the van.

The child was pale and bleeding from the mouth, lying next to a black backpack and cup of water, said police.

A driver at the school said he picked up the students in the morning and dropped them off at school. When he had seen that all the students had exited the van, he parked the van in the school’s car park.

The driver said the van was left there all day, ready to take the students home at the end of the school day.

At 4pm, he opened the van’s door and found 7 year old Ji Hoon lying on the floor in the back of the van. He called her name and shook her leg, but she didn’t respond.

He informed the teachers, who found that the child wasn’t breathing. Ji Hoon had already suffocated to death.

Nong Ji Hoon’s mother, 31 year old Metika Kosonpalangsri, said that her child’s teacher, the school driver, and the teacher who accompanies the children in the van every day came to visit her and Ji Hoon’s 28 year old father, Thai-anan Thongyoo, at their house yesterday after school.

Metika said that at first, the teachers wouldn’t tell Metika what happened and just asked her, “Does your child have any underlying diseases?”

Metika feared her child was in danger and asked, “Why? What has happened?”

The teachers told Metika and Thai-anan that their daughter had stopped breathing. The child’s parents were in complete shock, but still didn’t understand, as the teachers refused to tell them what had happened.

Finally, the teachers told the child’s parents she had been left in the van all day and suffocated to death.

Nong Ji Hoon’s parents have lost their only child and they want answers. They don’t understand how no one noticed that their child was still in the van, and fear that she died differently and that the school was trying to cover something up.

The child’s parents revealed that they pay very expensive tuition fees and pay extra for transportation services to and from school. They said they decided to send Ji Hoon to a private school because they thought she would have a better education.

Ji Hoon’s parents said they will continue to fight for justice for their only daughter. They travelled to Phan Thong Police Station last night to file a report that their young child died at school due to negligence.

The child’s body has been taken to the Police Hospital at the Forensic Institute for an autopsy to be carried out.

The police have launched an investigation into who is responsible for the 7 year old’s death and will proceed with the case according to the law.

SOURCE: สรยุทธ สุทัศนะจินดา กรรมกรข่าว

Crime NewsThailand News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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