Connect with us


No evidence of poisoning in Phi Phi tourist deaths



KRABI: Following the mysterious deaths on Phi Phi Island of three foreign tourists in just over a month, Krabi police and doctors are still unable to explain how the American and two Norwegians became fatally ill.

Contrary to an initial local blog entry speculating that cyanide poisoning may have been the cause of the deaths, Krabi police told a Gazette reporter who went to Phi Phi Island today that no evidence has been found to indicate poisoning in any of the three victims and that the initial blog report was false. That report was the result of a misunderstanding by the blogger, police said, adding that the blogger responsible had since returned to the police station to apologize for the mistake.

Since the deaths, Krabi Public Health officers have inspected the guesthouses and rooms previously occupied by the victims. According to police, the health officers could not find anything to indicate that any hazardous substances had contaminated the guesthouses’ air-conditioning units, water supply or food. Both guesthouses remain open for business.

In attempts to gather more clues as to the mystery deaths, a team of police officers yesterday inspected bars in the tourist area and took samples of the drinks on sale to be sent for laboratory tests, as two of the victims had reportedly visited a number of bars the night they fell ill. Police are still waiting for the test results.

One of the bar owners who spoke with the Gazette said that the deaths were a mystery to everyone and that nothing of this nature had ever happened before.

Norwegian tourist Erik Liuhagen, 48, died on April 1 at 8am after being admitted to hospital with severe diarrhea. He had been staying in room 119 at the beach-front guesthouse Phi Phi Villa. His body was sent to Bangkok the next day for an autopsy, the results of which have not yet been released, Krabi police told the Gazette.

Just over one month later, on May 3, 26-year-old American tourists Ryan Kells and Jill St. Onge both became ill and were admitted to Krabi Hospital. The pair had been vomiting for some time before going to the hospital. Ms St. Onge died later that day. Mr Kells survived the illness.

According to police, the pair were engaged to be married and had been staying at Laleena Guesthouse, which is about 1.5km from where Mr Liuhagen had stayed.

On May 4, Norwegian Julie Michelle Bergheim – who had also been staying at Laleena guesthouse in the room adjacent to Ryan Kells’ & Ms St. Onge’s room – died after becoming mysteriously ill with severe vomiting. She died in hospital while talking to police, a short while after being admitted.

Investigations continue.

— Khunakorn Terdkiatkhachorn


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand10 hours ago

Woman goes bananas after children steal her fruit and sues them for 24,000 baht

China10 hours ago

China says Covid has weakened as it announces loosening of strict policies

Thailand11 hours ago

Dog carries baby’s corpse out of a forest in eastern Thailand

Sponsored2 days ago

Top 5 Backlink Agencies in Bangkok for Your Business

Events11 hours ago

Travis Scott to headline Rolling Loud Thailand festival

Thailand11 hours ago

9 year old boy rescued after falling into 2-metre deep well

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Sexy Thai model exposed as an identity thief and transwoman

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
South11 hours ago

Whale washes up on beach in South Thailand

Transport12 hours ago

Last jumbo – the last Boeing 747 leaves the gate

Weather12 hours ago

Bangkok could hit lows of 18°C next week

Thailand12 hours ago

Geminids meteor shower predicted to hit Thailand on December 14 

Crime12 hours ago

Kuwaiti overstayer busted in Koh Pha Ngan, Thailand

Thailand13 hours ago

What next for Bali as Indonesia bans sex?

Thailand13 hours ago

Jailed politician erects billboard to wish voters Happy New Year

Thailand13 hours ago

Beastly reptile crocs the world of small village in southern Thailand

Pattaya13 hours ago

Pattaya officials continue to struggle with homeless problem

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11