Connect with us

Phuket

Phuket “spider men’ suspect brown widow in fruit vendor’s death

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

PHUKET: A team of officers from Phuket’s Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary in Thalang today collected 10 different types of spiders from around the home of Wanchai Wonglakorn, who died on Monday of a suspected spider bite.

The officers, led by Awat Nitikul, chief of the Environmental Conservation Division unit based at Khao Phra Thaeo, rummaged through the undergrowth around the home in Mai Khao.

His orders to sweep through a 100-meter radius of the home for any potentially dangerous spiders came from the top – Damrong Phidetch, chief of the Department of National Park Wildlife and Plant Conservation.

Any spiders found are to be used as samples to compare with the findings of the Institute of Forensic Medicine at Police General Hospital in Bangkok, which has been assigned to conduct an autopsy to determine the cause of Mr Wanchai’s death, Chief Awat said.

“Today we collected more than 10 different kinds of spiders. We will be back tomorrow in the evening and on Saturday night to collect more spiders,” he said.

“The staggering of collection times is being done in hopes of catching a broader range of spiders, including the brown widow spider, which at this time we assume killed Mr Wanchai,” Mr Awat said.

Any spiders collected will be sent to an entomologist for analysis, he added.

“According to official research, brown widow spiders have been found in Amphawa and in Sumut Sakhon province, but none have ever been reported in Phuket,” he said.

“Its venom is stronger than that of a cobra,” he added.

However, Mr Awat said it was possible for a brown widow to have arrived via one of Phuket’s ports.

The search today followed a sweep of the inside of the house yesterday by provincial health officials, which netted two house spiders.

“We have yet to determine the cause of death. We have to wait for the autopsy report from Police General Hospital in Bangkok,” said Phuket Public Health Office Deputy Director Wiwat Seetamanotch.

“It is possible Wanchai had an underlying disease. I talked to the three doctors who examined him before he died. They all said they saw no wounds that looked like a spider bite and none of his symptoms before he died were consistent with being bitten by a spider,” said Dr Wiwat.

“The doctor who conducted a blood test on the morning before [Mr Wanchai] died also found nothing unusual in his blood. I have been told that Wanchai was drinking a lot of alcohol due to the Chinese New Year celebrations and that he had been drinking a bottle of Thai whiskey a day for awhile,” he said.

“One doctor said he smelled alcohol on him when Wanchai was in the hospital. This could possibly be a factor in the cause of his death,” said Dr Wiwat.

“Anyway, all we can do is wait for the autopsy report,” he said.

“We have never had any reports of black or brown widow spiders in Phuket, so there is no need to panic,” he added.

However, one of Wanchai’s neighbors, Kittisak Lomsongnern, 24, told the Gazette, “He was drinking with me on the day he was bitten. He went to take a shower and came back afterwards to keep drinking with us.

“He told us his arm was sore and that he had no idea what bit him. Then he could not stand the pain, so he went to see a doctor. The next day I was told he was dead,” he added.

“I went to the hospital to see the body. I swear that I saw two little white spots on the inside of his [upper] right arm, and I am standing by it,” said Mr Kittisak.

— Chutharat Plerin

 

Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates

image

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

30 million baht added to vaccine side effects compensation fund

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Plan for 16-week gap between AstraZeneca vaccines dropped

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

CCSA: 120 day reopening will proceed with conditions

Phuket Sandbox July 1st

days
hours
minutes
seconds

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Tourism5 hours ago

Sandbox latest, CCSA says all regions reopening must reach 70% local vaccination

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Covid UPDATE Saturday: 3,667 new infections and 32 deaths

Politics9 hours ago

Thamanat elected to role of head ‘fixer’ in Palang Pracharat party

Expats18 hours ago

List: China has over 50% of all foreign-owned condos in Thailand

Coronavirus (Covid-19)20 hours ago

Government plans 10 million vaccines for July

World23 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Vaccine deaths investigation, PM heads to Phuket, BMA extends vendor licences | June 18

Thailand24 hours ago

1 million AstraZeneca doses arrive, Anutin says “more” on the way

Drugs24 hours ago

1.2 tonnes of methamphetamine and heroin seized near Malaysian border

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 day ago

Pattaya bars plead for government help

Thailand1 day ago

Colour-coded zoning revised, restrictions to ease nationwide

Transport1 day ago

Department of Land Transport will reopen, issue licenses

Best of1 day ago

Top 8 Things to do in Chiang Mai

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Phuket4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

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

Tourism4 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

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

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8

Trending