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24 Mar 2017

Kurseong hotel deaths: Father of dead student to take legal steps

Kurseong hotel deaths: Father of dead student to take legal stepsAmitava Banerjee |  MP |  22 March 2017 | Darjeeling:Suspecting it to be a case of LPG poisoning, the father of the deceased Thai student has decided to file a legal suit against Cochrane Place, a Kurseong Hotel.

A group from Thailand students were putting up at the Cochrane Place, the hotel in Kurseong. On March 8, 15-year-old Chinbunchorn Koetsirinkunwong of Bangkok was found unconscious on the floor of the washroom with the shower running and was declared "brought dead" when taken to the Kurseong hospital.

Two of his friends, Archavapong Artaumbauy (14) and Pakin Tsantsirametkakul (14) were also found unconscious in an adjacent room. They were treated on the lines of carbon monoxide poisoning in a private nursing home in Siliguri. They survived and returned to Bangkok on March 13. 

Meanwhile, on March 17, Bikash Bishwakarma, a driver was found lying unconscious in another washroom of the same hotel. He was rushed to the Kurseong Sub-Divisional Hospital where he was declared "brought dead."

Dead bodies of the victims were sent to North Bengal Medical College and Hospital for post-mortem. The reports of which are awaited. Following these incidents, the cops sealed the hotel and initiated a probe.

Millennium Post had reported that the cause of the deaths could be the LPG gas geysers. Nijel Chowdhury, operational head of the hotel had stated that all the geysers present in the washrooms of the 31 rooms of the hotel are connected to a central LPG geyser system.

"Very soon, a team from the Forensic Labrotary, Kolkata will be visiting the hotel to conduct a thorough examination," stated Amit P Javalgi, Superintendent of Police, Darjeeling.

Chinbunchorn was cremated in Bangkok on Saturday after a second post-mortem was conducted at the Police General Hospital, Bangkok.

Talking to a Bangkok daily, 42-year-old Sittichai Koetsirinkuwong, father of the victim stated: "Though it was an accidental death, the hotel in question should have better safety standards. There are thousands of Thai students studying in schools in the Darjeeling Hills. I don't want a repeat of this incident ever again. The owner cannot evade her responsibilities."

The victim had gone to Kurseong for admission at the Himali Boarding School. Suspecting it to be death caused by LPG intoxication, Koetsirinkuwong alleged that when the lady looking after his only son and another Thai parent had performed CPR before taking him to the Kurseong Hospital, they had smelt LPG on his (victim's) body.

36-year-old Kattip Yingthawornsuk, mother of the deceased, visited the Indian Embassy in Bangkok. According to the report published in Bangkok Post, the Indian Embassy has assured that they will appoint a lawyer to represent the victim's family once the post-mortem report is out in India. The father is also planning to fly to India to lodge an FIR at the local police station in Kurseong. 

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