‘Grand Canyon’ safety probe

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



CHIANG MAI’S Grand Canyon has been closed temporarily pending a safety review in the area, after a tourist drowned earlier this month.

The so-called Grand Canyon in Chiang Mai‘s Hang Dong district is renowned for its emerald-coloured ponds and scenic landscape.

CCTV recordings from September 10 show a Thai tourist being hit by another while in a pond, being rendered unconscious and quickly sinking. Police are investigating the death and are preparing to press charges of recklessness.

Chiang Mai police chief Pol Colonel Preecha Wimonchaijit yesterday joined officials inspecting the area and talked to Chakarin Trakooninsan, who operates a tourist service in the area.

“During the meeting, we found that the operator had not sought a licence [designating the area] as a tourist site yet,” Preecha said. “There are no clear regulations either, so we will need to further discuss this case.”


Flood erodes riverbank and Pongphan dyke

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



FLOODWATER has eaten away the riverbank next to the controversial Mae Pongphan Pattana dyke in Chiang Mai province, making it unable to hold water despite the fact it was only built a week ago.

Photos of the eroded riverbank circulated on social media yesterday, showing that water from the stream had created a hole about a metre wide.

Mae Pongphan is the wife of Defence Ministry permanent secretary General Preecha Chan-o-cha. She has been in the public eye since leading a group of senior military officers’ wives on a charity trip to help villagers in Tambon Mae Ka in Chiang Mai‘s Fang district to build the dyke, with a budget reported as Bt7,800.

But with heavy rain falling in the area over the past few days, the stream could no longer hold the increasing amount of floodwater, which ate into the riverbank, Kamnan Akawin Wanda of Tambon Mae Ka confirmed yesterday. The dyke itself was not damaged, he said, adding that villagers would close the hole so the dyke could become functional again.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwan expressed no concern yesterday over a move for an investigation into contracts between a nephew of Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha and the Army, saying it would not affect the premier.

“The PM has worked so hard in the past and what he has done has benefited the country. We, the government, intentionally work for the people,” he said.

The Association for the Protection of the Thai Constitution on Thursday lodged a petition with the National Anti-Corruption Commission against Defence Ministry permanent secretary General Preecha Chan-o-cha and other officials over alleged irregularities in the awarding of concessions to a company belonging to his son Pathompol.

Pathompol’s Contemporary Construction Ltd Partnership won bids for 11 construction projects from the Third Army Area, Water Resources Regional Office 9 in Phitsanulok and Tambon Administration Organisation (TAO) in the same province.


Searchers find downed chopper, five bodies after crash

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation




THE SEARCH for a missing helicopter ended yesterday when officials found debris from the downed aircraft and the five bodies of its crew and a passenger in a dense forest near Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai province yesterday.

The helicopter crashed on Sunday while flying back from a flood relief mission in Mae Hong Son province.

Maj-General Kosol Prathum-chat, commander of the 33rd Army Circle, said a rescue team from the 7th Infantry Division confirmed that they had found the missing chopper and its four crewmembers and a passenger.

The tail of the helicopter was found on a plateau but the main compartment plunged into a 500-metre ravine.

Rescuers abseiled down between two narrow cliffs to the crash site, finding the body of Maj-General Nopporn Ruanchan, commander of the 4th Infantry Division, still in the helicopter. The four other bodies were found 100 to 200 metres from the site.

Officials said there did not appear to have been an explosion onboard the helicopter, and they suspected strong winds blew the helicopter into trees in bad weather and low visibility conditions. Nearby trees showed damage inflicted by the crash.

Kosol instructed rescuers to leave the bodies alone until he arrived at the scene to begin the process of identification, which would be completed today at Kavila Fort, and they were ordered not to take photos.

Kosol said six rescue teams had been dispatched from the 7th Infantry Division to search for the missing helicopter, which disappeared off the radar while heading to the Northern province of Phitsanulok.

Rescuers found pieces of broken helicopter blades and documents one kilometre from an area where Doi Inthanon National Park officials said they had detected the odour of petrol. A signal from Nopporn’s mobile phone was detected in the same area.

Thai Royal Army spokesman Colonel Winthai Suvari said Army chief General Theerachai Nakvanich had expressed his sadness for the loss of Nopporn and the four crewmen who had honourably been carrying out their duties.

He said the Army would provide support to the families of the five and expressed heartfelt condolences.

He said funerals would be conducted with full honours.

Army deputy spokesman Colonel Sirichan Ngathong said the families of the five would receive between Bt2 million and Bt5 million depending on rank and level of allowances.

The five victims will be posthumously |promoted.

Aside from Nopporn, they were: Captain Suthan Ongmuang, First Lieutenant Nawapat Maneechot, Sergeant Major 1st Class Chaisakda Taso and Sergeant Major 3rd Class Mongkolchai Roongan.

Two new Zika cases

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation




Two children have come down with the Zika virus in Chiang Mai’s San Sai district.

The boy and girl, aged 10 and 11, had just returned from a trip to another province and are now recovering well in hospital.

Tambon San Sai Administrative Organisation has declared the 100-metre radius around the infected children’s home as a disease-control zone.

“Over the next 14 days, we will seriously eradicate mosquito-breeding grounds and spray the area with mosquito-killing agents,” the organisation’s chief Natee Damrong said yesterday.

Spread by mosquitoes, Zika usually causes mild symptoms such as fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis, but in severe cases it may cause brain damage or even death.

The disease is of a particular threat to pregnant woman as it has been linked with microcephaly, a condition associated with incomplete brain development.

The World Health Organisation declared Zika a “public health emergency of international concern” on February 1 after a spike in cases of microcephaly and Guillain-Barr้ Syndrome.

As of June 15, as many as 60 countries and territories report continuing mosquito-borne transmission of the disease.

Court insists building project legal

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



THE Chiang Mai-based Appeals Court Region 5’s project to construct court office buildings and housing for officials to live in on a 147-rai (23.5 hectares) plot near the Doi Suthep-Pui National Park is legal, Appeals Court Region 5 president Udom Sitthiwirattham insisted yesterday.

Udom’s comment was made in response to the publication of pictures that show construction related to the project to be close to the national park, resulting in criticism on social media.

He also warned that continuing to post comments online or sharing comments online that are deemed to tarnish the reputation of the Appeals Court Region 5 could result in lawsuits.

Udom told the press that the Courts of Justice had over a decade ago received permission to use the state-owned land, originally occupied by the 33rd Military Circle, to build office buildings for several courts as well as 47 houses and 13 residential buildings.

He said the project had received a Bt900-million budget in 2013, and construction began in 2014 with attempts to minimise the impact on the surrounding green environment.


Construction of the office buildings had progressed 85 per cent and are expected to be in use late this year while the housing units are slated for completion next year, he said.

He said the project would provide convenience to the public when contacting courts and reduce the state’s budgetary burden for subsidising rents for officials.

Doi Suthep-Pui National Park chief Amporn Panmongkol said the project had not encroached on the park and was on state-owned land permitted for the Chiang Mai Provincial Court’s use. The project’s area had been checked many times and it was located on Treasury Department land.

Chiang Mai‘s Regional Treasury Office head Yongyuth Ruang-patarakul confirmed that his agency owned the land and the court had obtained permission from the Army, as the original occupant since 2004, to use it. He said the agency was checking related documents for further clarification.

An environmental activist source in Chiang Mai commented that the public was concerned about the issue but before anyone created a movement calling for justice they should determine if the project had encroached on the national park.


Man admits cutting up girlfriend

ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation



A THAI man has confessed to killing and dismembering his girlfriend

He was allegedly jealous that she attracted interest from many men.

Suspect Pipat Kanthima, 41, was nabbed at a local monastery for the murder of Suree Onsanit, 46. Six partly burnt and decomposed parts of her body were found on a burnt mattress along with two knives on Sunday. Police also retrieved Pipat’s bloodstained clothes from the monastery.

Pipat claimed he dismembered Suree – as he had watched some films about cutting up bodies – and initially wanted to throw the parts into a river to conceal the crime.

He claimed he had been with Suree for years, and during that time he had travelled back and forth to Turkey for a construction job. He claimed Suree had invested all his money – about Bt1 million, which he had sent her for the massage business and other items.

Pipat claimed he saw Suree’s Line chat with another man on February 4 and became angry, which resulted in an argument. He claimed the fight got physical and that she pulled a knife on him and he sustained cut left hand. He said he struggled with her for the sharp weapon and accidentally stabbed her to death. So, he |dismembered her body to conceal the crime.

Chiang Mai police forensic scientist Pol Lt Col Thanandon Wittayawutthikul said his team would inspect the scene again for more evidence, such as fingerprints and drag marks. Police initially believed the suspect killed and dismembered Suree and put the parts in plastic bags for disposal, Thanandon said, then he changed his mind and placed the parts on a mattress and tried to burn them by lighting a fire in the house. But the fire failed to spread due to poor ventilation.

The police investigation initially mulled the motive of jealousy over romantic relations, as the victim reportedly had been involved with at least three men.

They were a foreign ex-husband with whom she had two children abroad and who had just wired Bt2 million to her bank account last week, Pipat and an another unnamed foreign man.