Body of Thai woman killed in Turkey earthquake returns home

The body of the young Thai woman who was killed by the recent earthquake in Turkey has been returned to her family in Chaiyaphum province in northeast Thailand.

At 4am this morning, officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs returned the body of 29 year old Chamaiphon “Dao” Homsanthia to her home town in Nong Bua Rawae district in Chaiyaphum.

Dao’s body was flown back to Thailand on a Royal Thai Air Force plane which landed in Bangkok at 9.30pm yesterday, with 36 Thais on board who were in Turkey when the quake struck.

Dao’s 56 year old mother Boonchu Homsanthia, 53 year old father Ken Homsanthia, the Nong Bua Rawae district sheriff, the village chief, relatives and locals were waiting together to receive Dao’s coffin.

Boonchu and Ken said there will be three nights of Buddhist prayers for Dao beginning this evening. Then, Dao’s body will be cremated at Wat Pa Samakkhitham temple in Huay Yae village on Monday at 3.30pm.

Dao’s body was found beneath the rubble of a building in Isknderun, where she worked as a masseuse. She was reportedly asleep when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck.

Dao entered Turkey as a tourist and worked for more than four years without registering with the Ministry of Labour.

As Dao was not a member of the Thailand Overseas Employment Administration Fund – which provides compensation for workers injured or killed overseas – the ministry was not eligible for the repatriation of her body.

The family was worried they would need to enter into a repayment contract with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs office in Nakhon Ratchasima province to pay back the cost of Dao’s repatriation which amounted to more than 200,000 baht.

Upon reuniting Dao with her family this morning, officials from the ministry’s Department of Consular Affairs informed Dao’s family that they do not need to pay back the expenses, which was a huge relief for them.

The family has received 160,000 baht in donations to help cover Dao’s funeral expenses.

Chaiyaphum’s Social Security Office said that Dao quit the social security fund in 2015 and had saved 15,017 baht, which has been given to her family to help fund funeral arrangements.

Governor of Chaiyaphum Sopon Suwanrat visited the home on Monday and gave Dao’s family 5,000 baht to show his support.

Boonchu said that Dao was the pillar of the family. She regularly sent money to her family, her mother said.

Before Boonchu learned that Dao was killed in the earthquake, she said she had a dream that Dao returned home as a small child, she told AmarinTV.

The death toll of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria is believed to have exceeded 41,000.

Thailand 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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