Elephants trample refugee camp worker to death  (Thailand)


Bangkok Post

Date Published

A worker at a refugee camp was trampled to death as she tried to flee a herd of wild elephants apparently spooked by the sound of her motorcycle in Mae Ramat district on Friday afternoon.

Wansa Khiri-archadai, 26, and her husband Boontham Chokthammakarn, 31, were on the way to visit relatives in nearby Mae Sot during the Songkran festival when they encountered a herd of six wild pachyderms in Khun Khao Pawor National Park at around 4pm on Friday, said Wathit Panayakhom, chief of Mae Ramat district.

Frightened by the sound of the motorcycle, the elephants suddenly ran toward the couple. Mr Boontham abandoned his bike before he and his wife fled in panic. But Wansa fell down while running, becoming a target for the animals to attack and trample her.

Her husband ran to seek help from residents of the community nearby. His wife sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Mae Ramat hospital and was later pronounced dead. Wansa was a staff member of the Mae La refugee camp run by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) in Tha Song Yang.  
Mr Boontham told police that he and his wife had been delighted after they finished their work shifts and were looking forward to some time off over Songkran with relatives in Mae Sot before the tragedy occurred.