Phuket rubber tapper injured by falling tree

PHUKET: A Phuket rubber tapper was left unconscious and unable to move yesterday when a para rubber tree he was cutting down fell on him.

The rubber-tapper, 29-year-old Seree Thongampol, went out to fell mature rubber trees in a plantation in Paklok Village 8 yesterday afternoon.

Working alone, he used a chainsaw to cut the tree at its base. To his horror a heavy gust of wind sent the tree falling right in his direction.

He turned to flee, but not in time: the towering timber landed with a thud right across his back.

After being notified of the accident by local residents, Phuket Kusoldharm Foundation workers rushed to the scene.

They managed to partially revive Mr Seree and then carefully loaded him onto stretcher fitted with a neck brace in order to minimize any additional trauma to his spine.

A rescue worker at the scene estimated the height of the toppled tree to be at least 20 meters.

“He was in great agony. Even though he could not move his hands and feet, he had not lost feeling in them, which is a good sign,” said the worker.

Mr Seree is now under treatment and observation at Vachira Phuket Hospital.

— Wichai Witthawat

Phuket News
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