Two children drown during Loy Krathong festival in northern Thailand

Two brothers, studying in Grades 4 and 5, fell into the Ping River and drowned during the Loy Krathong festival in Chiang Mai province in northern Thailand on Tuesday.

A family of four went to the banks of the Ping river, near the bridge in the Tha Kham subdistrict, sometime after sunset to float their krathongs (decorative baskets).

Mr A and Mrs A (pseudonyms) said that after floating their krathongs they went into the forest to find firewood. Their sons, aged 10 and 11 years old, waited by the river.

When Mr and Mrs A returned, both their children were missing. Mr and Mrs A called officers from Hod Police Station and asked them to mobilise a search right away as they suspected the boys had fallen into the river.

Divers from the Thewarit Mercy Society searched for the brothers all night but didn’t find them. The search was temporarily called off on Wednesday due to strong currents in the river.

The search resumed yesterday and the team found the body of the 10 year old boy stuck to a bamboo plant about 20 metres away from where he went missing.

Officers said they think the children took one of the nearby rowboats out to play in the river and fell out of it.

A man sadly suffered the same fate on Tuesday night when he and his wife fell into a canal while celebrating Loy Krathong in Ayutthaya province in central Thailand.

Since 2017, a total of 60 people have drowned on Loy Krathong Day, an average of 12 per year, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

Drowning remains the top cause of death of children under 16 years old in Thailand.

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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