Rescuer recovering from fumes that killed Phuket sewer workers last week

PHUKET: The rescue worker who passed out while attempting to save four workers who died in a Phuket Town sewer on March 26 is recovering in the hospital and will be discharged in a week.

Jessada Janpen, 25, was one of the first to arrive on the scene, and immediately descended into the sewer to rescue the maintenance workers. Although he wore an oxygen mask, Mr Jessada was overcome by the fumes (story here).

“I heard about the accident over the Emergency Medical Service (EMS) radio and rushed to the scene with my friends, who are also rescue workers, even though it was my day off,” Mr Jessada told the Phuket Gazette from his hospital bed.

Mr Jessada jumped into the sewer, but quickly realized the gravity of the situation.

“I couldn’t breathe down there, and it was really hot. The last thing I remember is trying to get out of the sewer. Next thing I knew, I was waking up in the hospital.”

Mr Jessada said that when he woke up, his vision was very blurry.

“Doctors told me I was in Vachira Phuket Hospital and that I couldn’t see well because vessels in my eye had popped. I also had trouble walking, and I got tired easily,” he said.

“I can walk now, but only with support. Doctors tell me I’ll be able to walk by myself in a month if I do physical therapy every day. My eyes are still red, but they don’t hurt.”

Mr Jessada expressed his regret for not being able to help the workers out of the sewer that day.

“I am not sorry about what happened to me, I am only sorry that I couldn’t help those men.”

— Woranut Pechdee

Phuket News

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Legacy Phuket Gazette

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

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