Craftsman drowns in ancient water temple pond in Nakhon Phanom

Picture courtesy of Siamrath

An unexpected incident unfolded yesterday, when a 34 year old craftsman working on an ancient water temple’s construction, drowned in the temple’s pond. The pond was located in Nakhon Phanom’s Renunakorn district, where the man had been working on a massive temple project set in the middle of the water.

Upon receiving the news, Surachai Phiro, the deputy inspector of Renunakorn Police Station, quickly coordinated with local doctors and a dive team from the Sawangnawathatpanom Rescue Association to retrieve the body. Within 10 minutes of searching, they found Sittichai’s body submerged in 4-metre-deep water near the temple’s main pillar. No signs of physical harm were found on Sittichai, and his body was sent for further investigation.

Initial inquiries revealed that Sittichai had been acting strangely that morning. His coworkers and relatives tried to persuade him down from the temple’s nearly 20-meter-high roof, but Sittichai resisted, insisting on working. They also confirmed that Sittichai enjoyed drinking but could function normally and was not intoxicated at the time.

Suddenly, Sittichai began shouting that he needed to die and leapt from the temple’s roof into the five-meter-deep pond. Despite efforts from local villagers and coworkers to save him, he lost consciousness and drowned. His body was recovered and sent back to his place of birth in Ubon Ratchathani for a traditional funeral, reported Sanook.

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The villagers and temple staff were shocked and confused by the incident, with some speculating about supernatural forces at play. The pond, believed to be over 100 years old and linked to the village’s establishment, had been the site of many strange occurrences. Since the renovation project began this year, there have been many tales of mysterious happenings, including difficulty laying the temple’s pillars and predictions of a sacrifice needed.

The temple’s construction, costing over 20 million baht (US$ 562,762), began this year and was expected to be completed by 2027. The villagers, while acknowledging the rumours of a required sacrifice, were shocked by Sittichai’s sudden death. Some speculated that he may have offended the spirits by drinking in the temple, but no concrete evidence has been found to support these claims.

Thaowal, a 63 year old former village head, confirmed her belief in the supernatural stories, citing the pond’s age and the previous wooden temple that once stood there. She recalled warnings from monks and villagers about the need for a ritual before construction began, but no one expected the prophecy to come true.

Similarly, the current village head, 54 year old Mithchai, admitted to believing in the supernatural. He recounted the difficulties faced during the project, with soil erosion and a bridge collapse. He also mentioned warnings from monks and villagers about a required sacrifice, creating a sense of caution among the workers.

The village was shocked by Sittichai’s sudden death, especially considering his normal behaviour and several months of problem-free work.

Thailand News

Samantha Rose

Samantha was a successful freelance journalist who worked with international news organisations before joining Thaiger. With a Bachelor's degree in Journalism from London, her global perspective on news and current affairs is influenced by her days in the UK, Singapore, and across Thailand. She now covers general stories related to Thailand.

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