Connect with us


Tragic trajectory: man’s head blown off by festival rocket

Legacy Phuket Gazette



SAKON NAKHON: A man had his head blown off while watching an annual homemade rocket festival in this northeastern town on May 11.

The victim and his friends chose to have a drinking session in a cordoned off area where rockets were landing at the time of the incident.

Police were called to the scene in Village 3, Tambon Dong Mafai, Muang District, at 3:30 pm.

After pushing through a large crowd of villagers, they found the headless body of 29-year-old Prida Wongnatal lying next to a pond. The stump of his neck was blackened with powder burns.

Near the body, police found the rocket that had decapitated Mr Prida, who was a native of Tao Ngoi District.

The projectile was about three-meters long, its head made of PVC piping three to four inches in diameter.

Rescue volunteers who dived into the pond to recover Mr Prida’s head were only able to find small fragments.

Sakda Duangsupha, who witnessed the tragedy, said the rocket that killed Mr Prida was the third one launched at the festival. The first two had shot up into the air, but the third took a horizontal trajectory towards Mr Prida and six or seven friends who were sitting drinking about 50 meters away from the launch pad, located by the edge of the pond.

As they saw the rocket screaming towards them, the youths dived out of the way, but Mr Prida was not quick enough. After the impact, he fell back into the pond.

Pulling him out, his friends were shocked to discover that he had no head, Mr Sakda said.

The area where Mr Prida and his friends were drinking had been roped off because of the danger of rockets passing through. With a sense of invincibility typical of youth, the group ignored the warnings, Mr Sakda explained.

Police are now investigating to determine whether Mr Prida’s demise was a case of death by his own negligence or whether the festival’s organizers were responsible.

Rocket festivals are held annually in towns across the Northeast to mark the start of the rainy season. This is not the first, and no doubt not the last, tragedy at such festivals. In 1999, five people were killed at the Yasothon festival, the biggest and most famous of them all, when a 120kg rocket exploded immediately after takeoff.

— Khao Sod


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai PM sued, 4 phase Reopening plan | September 28

Thailand2 hours ago

List of disease restrictions by colour-coded zoning

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Tuesday Covid Update: 9,489 new cases; provincial totals

Sponsored7 hours ago

St. Andrews International School, joins global event for children’s wellbeing

Welcome back to Thailand!

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

Thailand4 hours ago

Alleged drug dealer busted in Chon Buri, police seize drugs and gun

Crime5 hours ago

Nearly 200 police have been found guilty of misconduct this year

Thailand5 hours ago

Legalising prostitution, Beautiful Temples, Thai Taxi’s | Thaiger Bites | Ep. 27

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand5 hours ago

Army ranger suspected of killing his wife and mother-in-law surrenders to authorities in Songkhla

Thailand6 hours ago

6 dead and 30 provinces affected by topical storm ‘Dianmu’

Thailand7 hours ago

Kanchanaburi experiences earthquake so minor hardly anyone notices it

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand Top Stories | Emergency decree extended, Quarantine waved | September 28

Thailand8 hours ago

Thailand’s reopening divided into 4 phases

Thailand9 hours ago

Thailand Restrictions waived Nov 1, Pornography law amendments | Good Morning Thailand | Ep. 97

Coronavirus World9 hours ago

Restrictions tightened in Singapore amid surge in Covid-19 infections

Thailand9 hours ago

Pattaya mayor confirms Pattaya reopening postponed to November

Coronavirus (Covid-19)9 hours ago

Thai PM hit with 50-million-baht lawsuit from angry restaurant operators

Thailand2 weeks ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Phuket7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand7 months ago

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

Tourism7 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand8 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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

Thailand9 months ago

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