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Archive for August 16, 2017

Newsline: Thai consulate in Los Angeles warns of protests over failure to retrieve students’ bodies

US authorities could face protests if they do not expedite the retrieval of the bodies of two Thai postgraduate students believed to have died in a car crash almost two weeks ago in California, the Thai Consulate in Los Angeles has said. Protests are planned in Fresno county, the scene of the accident, and Los Angeles, as frustration mounts with the slow progress of the operation. The consulate said on Facebook that protests would proceed if the rescue and recovery operation were not launched. Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, and Bhakapon Chairattanasongporn, 28, were driving on a highway on July 26 to Kings Canyon National Park when their rental car plunged off a 150-metre cliff and came to rest partially submerged in a river. Fresno county officials have been blaming bad weather, strong currents and high water from melting snow for the slow pace of the operation. Hopes that the pair survived the accident were dashed when Consulate General Tanee Sangrat said this week that the bodies of the students had been found in the car. In Bangkok, Ekkachai Taidecha, uncle of Bhakapon, applied yesterday for entry visas for a Thai rescue team, saying Thais should take over if US authorities continued to fail to act. “If this accident happened in Thailand, Thai rescuers would be able to get the bodies within 12 hours, no matter how bad the weather was. They would not have to use a helicopter,” he said. In response to Ekkachai’s symbolic protest, the US Embassy issued a statement. “We are closely following the situation and express our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends of the two Thai students involved in this tragic accident in California.”

http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30323468

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