Connect with us

Phuket

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

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

 

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.

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

World12 hours ago

Kanye West’s “White Lives Matter” shirt at Paris Fashion Week

Thailand13 hours ago

Tangmo defendant repays vow with 5-metre Ultraman figure

Bangkok13 hours ago

Bangkok asks companies to let employees work from home until October 7

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Prime minister’s achievements since coming back to the office

Best of13 hours ago

Revealed: the best rooftop bars in the world

Thailand13 hours ago

Father & 2 year old son shot in Chiang Mai

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Pattaya13 hours ago

Officials predict over 100,000 people at Pattaya International Fireworks Festival

Thailand14 hours ago

Six-legged golden frog brings good fortune in northern Thailand

Tourism14 hours ago

British Embassy Bangkok to hold a conference on tourism safety and security

Thailand14 hours ago

Mother seeks justice after a monk slapped her son

Expats14 hours ago

Bangkok ranked one of top 5 expat cities

Thailand14 hours ago

Woman abandons home after police ignore four burglaries

Thailand15 hours ago

VIDEO: Brave citizens save delivery driver swept away by floods in northeast Thailand

Chiang Mai15 hours ago

Chiang Mai wakes up to a flooded city district

World15 hours ago

Japanese warned to take cover over North Korea missile test

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

Trending