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11 US exchange students were lost but now they’re found

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11 US exchange students were lost but now they’re found | The Thaiger

A group of American exchange students got lost in a Chiang Mai forest yesterday, stranded on the edge of a cliff and had to be rescued by officials very early today (Thursday).

Fortunately, the Nok Kok Cliff above the Tad Mok Waterfall has a mobile phone signal, so the students, one boy and ten girls, managed to call tourist police last night at 7pm for help. Officials were able to track their GPS signal to rescue them at 10 minutes past midnight.

Following their rescue, the students, aged from 18 to 22, said they were exchange students studying at the Faculty of Science at Chiang Mai University and had arrived in the northern city six weeks ago.

They said they had hired a red song-taew minibus from Chiang Mai University to the Huay Tueng Tao Reservoir in Tambon Don Kaew, Mae Rim district and started walking along the forest track heading to the waterfall at 2pm.

But they later found out that they had strayed off the track and got lost so they called Chiang Mai tourist police for help.

Col Supakorn Ruansati, manager of the Huay Tueng Tao Reservoir Tourism Office, said after the tourist police told him about the incident, his staff used their mobile phone number to search for their GPS location and managed to send help. When the officials located the tourists, they warned them to stay still as they were on an 80 metre tall cliff and could easily fall.

Rescuers then dispatched four-wheel pickup trucks to rescue them. The pickups drove for about four kilometres from the first forestry checkpoint and walked 800 metres to reach the students.

Once the students were taken out of the forest to the tourism office they cheered and hugged the officials in appreciation.

Supakorn said the Huay Tueng Tao Reservoir normally closes at 6pm, when officials check whether all tourists have come out of the forest but the group had gone off on their own without informing the authorities first so the officials didn’t know they were there until they called the tourist police.

11 US exchange students were lost but now they're found | News by The Thaiger 11 US exchange students were lost but now they're found | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation



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Chiang Mai

British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand

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British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Facebook.com

A British backpacker is back in the UK for Easter after being released from prison after being incarcerated for 10 days over a ‘trivial’ offence.

26 year old Chris Dodd told the BBC he was arrested for picking up a mobile phone he found on the ground whilst waiting for a taxi at the Chiang Mai airport. He was accused of theft after taking it with him to his accommodation.

According to Chris, he says he picked up the phone trying to find the owner. In doing so he moved it to a different location – considered theft under Thai law. He says his intention was to report it to police and find the owner when he arrived at his hostel accommodation.

Police identified him on airport CCTV. He was arrested at the hostel.

Prison guards shaved Mr Dodd’s head but gave him the shaved-off dreadlocks saying he could keep them.

British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

“I was stripped naked, sent in, given a blanket.”

“Nobody spoke English. It was really intimidating. You just have to fight for a space on the floor and you have people’s legs all over you,” Chris told the BBC.

According to his lawyer he faced a five year prison sentence if convicted, but the charges against him were eventually dropped and he was able to leave Thailand. Mr Dodd was released on bail after family and friends raised £20,000 (828,000 baht).

His lawyer told Mr Dodd to leave Thailand immediately after being released. The charges were dropped last Friday.

SOURCE: BBC

British backpacker returns home for Easter after being jailed in Thailand | News by The Thaiger

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Chiang Mai

Freak summer storms damage 1,000 houses around Chiang Mai

The Thaiger

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Freak summer storms damage 1,000 houses around Chiang Mai | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Thai PBS

Up to 1,000 homes were damaged by gusty winds and storm cells over the weekend around Chiang Mai. Ten districts were blacked out for several hours when a freak rain storm struck on Saturday, ripping off the roofs of homes and flinging debris around the districts.

According to the provincial public disaster prevention and mitigation office, the worst-hit district was Hang Don where many houses had their roofs blown off by the gale-force wind which also downed many power poles causing power outage which lasted for several hours. About a dozen cars also sustained damage from flying debris.

Water and power supplies, cut off for many during the storm, were restored later on Saturday evening.

Construction materials such as roof tiles and corrugated iron sheeting have been sent by the office to the affected areas to affect immediate repairs pending detailed assessments of the damages.

The Third Army Region has set up a mobile kitchen at the municipal office of Tambon Nong Kwai to provide free food to the victims on the request of His Majesty the King.

SOURCE: Thai PBS

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Air Pollution

Mae Hong Son continues to be plagued with fires

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Mae Hong Son continues to be plagued with fires | The Thaiger

Mae Hong Son province continues to be plagued by forest fires despite the ban and the raging haze and smoke problems.

In recent months, Mae Hong Son has been struggling with haze most of the time with flights to its airport limited at the height of the crisis. Exposure to the serious air pollution has become a threat to the health of locals. Authorities continue to blame outdoor fires as the key cause of smog.

However, illegal outdoor fires continue to be detected.

Satellite images confirmed that there were at least 23 hotspots in Mae Hong Son yesterday. Of them, 13 were in Sop Moei district.

Kampanart Prachongpim, who heads Mae Hong Son’s forest-fire control division, says that teams from several provinces had come to Mae Hong Son to help extinguish forest fires that were often caused by people. At least, two bushfires extinguished yesterday were caused by people going into the forest to collect forest produce. According to him, by the time these forest fires were put out, about nine rai of forest reserves had been destroyed.

Mae Hong Son is 100 kilometres north west of Chiang Mai, near the Myanmar border.

Mae Hong Son continues to be plagued with fires | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

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