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2 year old in ICU after being left in scorching school van

Jack Burton



PHOTOS: Khaosod

A 2 year old boy remains on life support after he was left alone in a sweltering hot school van outside a childcare centre in southern Thailand. Thanakit “Nong Kongbin’’ Yodmanee is being treated in an ICU at a Hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat. He was rushed to the hospital earlier in the week after he was found unconscious in the van.

The boy’s 26 year old mother, Suwaphat Chaiyatham, said yesterday that the van from Wat Srimaram Childcare Development Centre in tambon Kathun picked her son up at their home Tuesday morning. She said that normally, Thanakit sat in the front row of the van, but that day he was asked to sit behind. That afternoon, his teacher sent photos to parents of the children inside the school classroom.

Suwaphat said she didn’t see her son in the photos and asked the teacher where he was. The teacher replied that Thanakit didn’t arrive for class that day. Suwaphat said he had left home in the school van. She panicked and rushed to the centre, where she learned he had been forgotten and left behind, locked in the van throughout most of the scorching hot day.

The boy had already been rushed to hospital. She went there and found her son having severe convulsions. A doctor treating him said her son’s liver and kidneys were not functioning or responding. He was put on life support. The 2 year old had been left in the closed school van alone, from 7:30am to around 1:30pm.

A tearful Suwaphat said when she kissed her son goodbye it never occurred to her it might be the last time. She says she doesn’t want school vans used to transport children anymore. An open-air songtaew minibus might be better, she said.

The boy’s father, Thawatchai Yodmanee, has filed a complaint with police. Named in the complaint is Sunisa Phukpanit, acting head of the childcare centre. Sunisa has also provided financial assistance to the boy’s family.

Police were waiting for the family to file another criminal complaint against the school van driver and the teacher tasked with caring for the children while they were in the van. They are likely to face charges of negligence causing serious injury.

2 year old in ICU after being left in scorching school van | News by Thaiger

SOURCES: Chiang Rai Times | Khaosod


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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Avatar

    Perceville Smithers

    Saturday, August 15, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    You’d think schools would learn from the same mistakes others make around the world. A head and name count of those that get on and the same when they get off. The driver then hands a copy of the passenger list to the school.

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Jack Burton is an American writer, broadcaster, linguist and journalist who has lived in Asia since 1987. A native of the state of Georgia, he attended the The University of Georgia's Henry Grady School of Journalism, which hands out journalism's prestigious Peabody Awards. His works have appeared in The China Post, The South China Morning Post, The International Herald Tribune and many magazines throughout Asia and the world. He is fluent in Mandarin and has appeared on television and radio for decades in Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

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