However, after a month of allowing hospitals to file their final reports, the official final tally has been increased from zero deaths to one – while that tally flies in the face of a national road-safety authority confirming that two people died in Phuket during the period.
The news comes amid confirmation that in order for a death to be counted during a Seven Days road-safety campaign – held twice a year: during the Songkran Thai New Year and the Western Jan 1 New Year – the victim must have the accident and die within the seven-day period.
It also comes amid confirmation that the “final” reports given to the public the day after a Seven Days campaign concludes is subject to revision more than a month after the campaign ends.
After the Seven Days campaign for New Year 2020 concluded on Jan 2, Prapan Kanprasang, Chief of the Phuket office of Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM-Phuket) at the time, later confirmed – but only on questioning – that the “final” report for the seven-day campaign presented to the public on Jan 3 stood to be revised.
The report given to the public on Jan 3 gave the tally for the seven-day period from Dec 27, 2019 through Jan 2, 2020 as 53 people injured in 47 accidents during the seven days, with zero deaths. (See story here.)
Mr Prapan stood by that tally, but explained that his office was required to wait for an official final report from the Phuket Provincial Health Office (PPHO).
“They [the PPHO] can submit their report about the number of deaths during the campaign anytime within 30 days after Jan 2,” he explained. (See story here.)
After Mr Prapan was repeatedly unavailable earlier this month to confirm that the reports from the hospitals had finally been received, the new DDPM-Phuket Chief Sophon Thongsai has now confirmed to The Phuket News that the revised tally for Phuket now stands at one dead and 54 injured.
“The one who died in the seven days was Thai man Pongmet Chanthakhat, who was injured in an accident on Wichit Songkram Rd on Dec 28. He was taken back to Songkhla, where he was pronounced dead on Dec 30,” Mr Sophon said.
Mr Sophon explained that, according to the PPHO, Mr Pongmet died after his motorbike hit “something” on a traffic island on the road. The “something” was not identified.
“We received information about his death after the Seven Days of Danger had already concluded. It was too late to change the number in the initial report,” Mr Sophon added.
Of the three others who died from injuries sustained in accidents during the seven days – but reported as dying after the Seven Days had concluded – was 63-year-old Danish man Kim Nielsen, who was struck by a car while walking beside a road near the SuperCheap store in Karon at 4pm on Dec 28.
Mr Nielsen suffered broken ribs and a broken pelvis, as well as internal bleeding. He was sent to Chalong Hospital then later transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket. (See story here.)
Mr Nielsen was reported as dying from his injuries on Jan 9, Mr Sophon said.
Another of the three later reported as dying from his injuries in an accident during the period was a man who authorities have yet to identify.
The man was of Asian appearance and about 30 years old, Mr Sophon said.
“He was riding a motorcycle without a helmet and was hit by pickup truck near Saphan Hin on Dec 31. He died at Vachira Phuket Hospital on Jan 9,” he added.
THE DIFFERENT DEAD
Mr Sophon reported that the third other person reported as dying after the campaign had concluded was Thanaphorn Masalee.
Mr Sophon reported that Ms Thanaphorn was injured in an accident on Phrabaramee Rd in Patong on Jan 1 and later died at Vachira Phuket Hospital on Jan 4.
However, The Phuket News had previously already brought the death of Ms Thanaphorn to the attention of former DDPM-Phuket Chief Mr Prapan after the national Thai Road Safety Committee (ThaiRSC) noted her death on Jan 1 – that was before the initial “final” report of the campaign was issued by Phuket officials on Jan 3. (See story here.)
One of the ThaiRSC website administrators, who asked not to be named, had already confirmed to The Phuket News the same accident details that Mr Sophon received only after the final reports were received from hospitals earlier this month.
The website administrator also confirmed, “The hospital reported her death at about 3am on Jan 1.”
The ThaiRSC website today reports two deaths in Phuket during the campaign: those of Ms Thanaphorn and Mr Pongmet. (See here.)
Regardless, Mr Sophon remains adamant that Phuket’s tally for the New Year 2020 campaign will remain at one dead.
The final report has been presented to and signed off by the Governor, he said.
“I don’t know where ThaiRSC has received its information from, but I confirm that the one person who died is a man. This information was obtained from the Phuket Public Health Office.
“Our information was confirmed by their report, and this report has already been ratified by the Governor of Phuket,” Mr Sophon said.