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German Tourist Fatally Injured After Falling From Elephant's Back

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<br>No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...<br>
<br>Seconded. Did they really blame the husband? <br><br>The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.<br><br>Amazing Thailand yet again. <br><br>RIP and condolences.<br>
<br><br>The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. You lot are too paranoid. <br><br><br><br>
<br>No non Thai can be too paranoid here.<br>

Oh come on. I think if you hate it here so much, you should go where you're pleased with everything. No one is placing blame here. Why are people so quick to bash Thailand when it's their choice to be here? What is it that made you stay? There must've been something good or better than where you were before. As a Thai citizen with a business in the tourism industry here, I can honestly say that I'm not an irresponsible owner and go out of my way to please my foreign customers.  While I can't vouch for others, I think it's just completely unfair to judge or stereotype ALL Thais in such manners. Tourism is an important part of our national income. Something must be going right to make it a destination of choice for many. I'm sorry many of you hate it here. Maybe it's time for you to look elsewhere.


Edited by SittisanQuanSundaravej
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As a Thai citizen with a business in the tourism industry here, I can honestly say that I'm not an irresponsible owner and go out of my way to please my foreign customers.

OK hypothetical (not real..a made up case) question here..

woman falls....husband falls crushing her fatally....why? seat on animal was insecure...who tied it...animal driver....who employs driver .. YOU as owner of the tourist business that organized the animal ride.

husband sues you for damages..millions of baht

How do you feel? What do you do? Can you take responsibility? Are you insured for such an event?

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I, like many others, love Thailand and the people, for the most part. But even the most optimistic of people, which I always considered myself as, will become somewhat "jaded" after a while at how Thai will never accept responsibility for anything, and that nothing is ever their fault. That's not "bashing', it's merely stating a well known fact. We have also become used to the "spin" by police, and others, to try and blame foreigners whenever they can, for whatever has happened or gone wrong. Again, not "bashing', stating fact. As well as other things, such as double & triple pricing for foreigners. Not sure if some of you are aware of it, but TAT actually issued a statement, or whatever you would like to call it, to all National Parks, Zoos, etc., that TOLD them to charge foreigners double, or even triple prices in some cases. Racism? Xenophobia? Call it what you will, but I can't imagine any other civilized country doing that.

However, we learn to accept these things, and learn to live with them in our daily lives, as it is, in many ways, a "small price to pay" for living here, and one that I do not find excessive. Amusing at times, yes, but tolerable.

As for the story itself, we don't know all the facts, and probably never will, but that does not lessen the tragedy of the situation. A couple of holiday, an accident happens, the man falls on his wife from the back of an elephant, the woman dies. Yes, the cop was totally insensitive to the situation with his statement, but I really wouldn't expect him to say anything else, this being Thailand.

This man is now going to have to live with this horrible memory for the rest of his life and will, undoubtedly, right or wrong, place blame on himself. Hopefully he can get proper counseling when he returns home to help him deal with this situation.

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Similar to what happened up here at the Mae Taeng elephant camp last month when I was taking some visitors around. The poor guy in the attached picture was thrown by one of the tour elephants and looked badly injured. He was eventually hauled off on the back of a pick-up after a 15 minute delay. I tried to find out later what had happened to him, but was unable to get any information.

After the incident, none of the thirty odd people waiting for an elephant ride wanted to take one and the organizers had to send out minibuses to bring them back to base.

I dont remember how many times I see on a way too fast driving truck or on a building side where workers running around in flip flop shoes the sign in large letters SAFETY FIRST .....despite what some of the Thai-Noobs here in TV forum think...NOBODY here in Thailand is taking care about the safety of tourists when it comes to making money....there are plenty of cases and accidents happend while tourists (which trust the organisation of such events) like river rafting, Bungee jumping or climbing or elephant riding....had accidents in the past.

My condolences to the husband of the woman and her family and friends. I guess the name of them is correctly spelled Kretschmar, as there is usually no name like Kret Schmar in Germany.

May she rest in peace

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Why do people on this always have to be so quick to bash? Its frankly pathetic and xenophobic.

I guess these are the poeple that in their home country, complain that the 'immigrants' do not mix with locals and become part of the community. :huh:


Thanks. You nailed it. I am quite sure they do complain about those "immigrants who do not learn our ways and respect our culture!" (And suggest they should "go back where they came from")

You know, every silver lining needs a cloud, and sadly, this type is over represented in Thai Forum. Finding fault with everyone and everything Thai. It does make one wonder why they continue to live here. They could go back to the heavenly West, or even cross the Asian borders to greener pastures.

According to them, Thailand is unique, and is the only place where accidents happen, natural disasters occur, and politicians stretch the truth. Can you imagine what it would be like if peaceful protesters here were pepper sprayed, shot with rubber bullets and beaten with riot batons? Can you imagine the uproar if Thai politicians suggested building an electrified fence along the border? Can you imagine a the commentary if Thailand had to declare bankruptcy and beg the EU for a country wide bail out?

I could go on and on... I mean, there are heavily regulated companies all over the West who still screw up and cause loss of life...how we believe we can 100% of the time control the outcome of riding an animal the size of a house is beyond me. sadly, this was a freak fall, much like people who fall getting out of the shower. She was on a adventure to a country she loved, and it is sad to lose a person who was "busy living." Perhaps some people might think about that, count their blessings and enjoy the positive side of Thailand, and life in general.

Yes, I have read that. I thought about that. RichardinBkk is making many valid observations. But xenophobia and racism is not confined to either Westerners or Thais. All humans are guilty of it to various degrees. All need to be aware of it and try to free their thinking. The trouble is that while there is an ongoing debate about it in the West almost nobody has ever heard this in Thailand. On average Thai public is completely blurred about the levels of racism and xenophobia that is tolerated in public and never questioned by the state.

Yes, Thai immigrants to countries like Australia can feel accepted and at home. Maybe not by everybody but in general and definitely by the state institutions that don't discriminate by "the order of the state". They can get PR status that almost equals them with Australians and if they wish the citizenship process is easy and almost automatic after few years of stay. They can get payments from the public coffers. Even overseas Thai can purchase property in Australia in their own names. No such luck for foreigners in here. No matter how hard some of them are trying they are forever stigmatized as Farang. I'm been here 5 years, invested all my money here, run a business employing Thais and I still have absolutely no rights to my investments. I have to ask for visa extensions every year and there is no certainty they will be issued. When I queue up for something the Thais are served first. When I'm with a Thai person and pay for something the change always is being handed back to the Thai. I hear and see many insensitive comments like the one by the police in this case. Yes, it's true that it's "always a Farang fault" when there is a conflict between foreigner and Thai. Stigmatizing, intolerance, xenophobia and racism can be a problem in the West but are rampant here and the evil sometimes is in the degree of the wrong-doing.

Coming back to this case, foreigners should abandon their romantic idea of "elephant rides" as part of their tourist adventure. Just look at these animals and see how poorly they are treated and how miserable they are. Don't support businesses that engage into this practice. And remember .. when in Thailand you are on your own when it comes to looking after your safety so exercise higher than usually degree of caution. Especially when hiring some service, please watch out for signs of dishonesty and lack of safety. And please remember that if you pay very little for something you are most likely to get bad quality. Often much worse than in your home country. So, don't be stingy.

Edited by notime
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charge foreigners double, or even triple prices in some cases. .... but I can't imagine any other civilized country doing that.

New Zealand has a two price system in place for historical Maori sites I'm told.

Cambodia has a foreigners only pay at Siam Reap...though that's hardly a civilized country....

Personally I'd like to see the Tower of London charge more for Thais only and have the biggest sign ever saying so.......

I also think that deep down Thais believe the practice of dual-pricing wrong as most often they try and hide it behind signs containing Thai numerals which are hardly used anywhere else. Deceit if you will ... they cannot openly justify it. and greed gets the better of them....

Edited by KKK
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Elephant riding should be illegal anyway. It's cruel and not safe, I have lived here two decades and have not considered getting on a creature as big as a truck once.

Second floor of a Thai house is 3m high.

I feel sorry for the guy as the blame seems to be being put on him, after he was probably told it was safe.


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Negligent though the tour company was, this seems to me a freak tragic accident, your chances of dying from falling from 3 meters is pretty low, even when someone else lands on top of you.

Agreed, but it also depends on how a falling person hits the ground, if part of the head hits the ground first without any hand or arm protection, then fatality can occur from a very short fall.

Moreover, the landing of a person on top of one's body from about a 5 meter hight (depending on body weight) will do no more than breaking a few rib bones, particular in females.

There are of course always other possibilities, in this case for instance ... her husband (of heavy weight or not) could have fallen down on parts of his wife's body with bended elbows, and /or bended knees, and that could have caused fatality.

A very shocking event indeed.

Thanks for your post: both sensitive and insightful.

In the states, "fall-protection" is required at 2 meters of elevation, regulations which we're unlikely to see on elephant-rides. And, as you have observed, two persons tumbling from an elevation of 4 meters complicates the impacts.

While tempted to blame the 'mahout' who failed to cinch the saddle in a proper fashion, our hearts grieve for the victims of a most-unfortunate accident.

Kind regards

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Elephant riding should be illegal anyway. It's cruel ...

Never done it here did in Nepal 30+ years ago..wouldn't do it again....nothing to do with safety..my attitude to it has changed..animal rights are better here than they used to be but still have a long way to go. Trouble is when the humans don't have that many rights what chance do the animals have!!

Edited by KKK
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Damages in other countries are not automatically paid because someone considers he has been wronged. A lawyer representing the company would run this case on 'all would have been OK if the woman hadn't panicked and lunged at/to her husband. Unless the seat actually turned sufficiently to throw them out, it could not be considered negligence by the operators.' people who aren't lawyers see things differently from lawyers. Some consider them spivs, and no doubt some are, but largely they see things with a clarity most of us don't.

Of course all the facts may not have been presented, and if/when they are known, the case may take on a different perspective.

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I suffered an injury to my knee sometime ago in a multiple car pile up on a Motorway in one of those infamous minibuses.

I took photographs, recorded time an location of the accident and sent a claim for medical costs to the minibus operator per recorded letter.

The accident was recorded by the police. The letter was returned as undeliverable. The same will happen to that husband if he claims any compensation from the elephant operators.

This has nothing to do with Thai bashing. It's just karma.

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No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...

Seconded. Did they really blame the husband?

The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.

Amazing Thailand yet again.

RIP and condolences.

The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. You lot are too paranoid.

True, but even a blind man could see which way this case is heading.

This will probably be concluded as death by misadventure, conveniently sweeping aside the negligent acts of the said company to insure the safety of it`s tourist patrons.

Another tragic ending of innocent tourists who will not be returning from the LOS or going home in a wooden box.

Tourists should be made aware that whatever services they use or participate in Thailand, they do so at their own discretion and risk as there will be no compensation and no one will be brought to book if they sustain personal injury or death, even if by no fault on their part during the holiday.

This is not paranoia, but fact.

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They did say that the husband felon her, but on the 'facts' as presented, if she hadn't lunged at him in panic, they may not have fallen. Just the seat coming loose and turning doesn't indicate negligence causing death, negligence causing panic, perhaps. We don't know much about this very sad incident, but if the husband was, say, 250 lbs, then it's very likely he contributed. I think all the speculation and bashing of all things Thai is unhelpful at best, and xenophobic and paranoid at worst.

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