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Suicide pact with eerie echoes

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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THALANG: In a double suicide attempt with spooky echoes of a past tragedy, two deaf-mute women jumped from the Tao Thepkrasattri Tao Sri Soonthorn Bridge yesterday afternoon. One drowned, but the other was rescued by fishermen. Pol Capt Apidej Chuaykeau, of Khok Kloi Police Station, said that, despite driving wind and rain, the fishermen managed to rescue Sumalee “Roong” Pratheep Na Thalang, 24, a Phang Nga native. She was rushed unconscious to Takuatung Hospital and has since recovered. The body of the other woman, Chaluay “Taew” Chotchuang, 26, was found an hour later among the pilings of the nearby Sarasin Bridge. Her body was taken to Wat Ba Tanoon in Khok Kloy for cremation. Relatives told the police that the two women had been close for many years and lived together. Recently, however, Sumalee had started going out with a man, causing friction between the women. “Witnesses told us that the women tied their hands together with a piece of cloth before jumping from the middle of the bridge,” Capt Apidej added. The case echoes a famous double suicide nearly 50 years ago. Then, a student of Rajabhat Phuket Institute and her lover, a song taew driver, jumped from the Sarasin Bridge – with their hands tied together – after their families tried to stop them seeing one another. Both died. That suicide pact became the basis for a hit song and later for a highly successful movie. As a result, the Sarasin Bridge has become a tourist spot for Thais. Many Thais, when crossing the bridge, hold their breath and make a wish. Yesterday’s incident also has links to events 250 years ago. The family name of the survivor – Pratheep na Thalang – indicates that she is a descendant of the Two Heroines, after whom the bridge from which the women jumped is named.

 

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