Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Faulty Siam Park ride closed indefinitely

Faulty Siam Park ride closed indefinitely

(BangkokPost.com) – The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has ordered the closure of the Super Spiral water slide until further notice.

The Siam Park slide which broke loose on Saturday resulted in several children being tossed off the ride.

Deputy Bangkok governor Wallop Suwandee said the BMA’s engineering team are now tasked with inspecting the Super Spiral as well as the safety of the 29 other rides at the amusement park.

It is preparing to press charges against owners of Siam Park for failing to ensure the safety of patrons.
This is the second time in less than four months that the theme park had experienced significant safety failures. In October, staff error led to the death of a woman on one of the rides.

Latest reports stated that the number of injuries from Saturday’s accident stood at 24, the most serious of the injuries being head injuries.

09:16 Jan 13, 2008

KMT win may improve Taiwan-China ties

Taipei (dpa) - Taiwan press on Sunday hailed the opposition Chinese Nationalist Party's win in parliamentary elections as the dawn of strong Taiwan-China ties.

In its editorial, the United Daily News said the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) must punish President Chen Shui-bian, hinting that Chen's poor performance in his two four-year terms as Taiwan's president had caused the party's election setback.

Two business dailies - the Commercial Times and Economic Daily News - said a rally is expected when trading starts on Monday, and China-related shares are expected to surge in anticipation of Taiwan's opening direct sea and air links with China.

In the parliament elections on Saturday, Taiwan's largest opposition party, the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), swept 81 seats in the 113-seat parliament, while the ruling party Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) got only 27, dashing President Chen's wish for 50 seats.

Chen resigned as DPP party chairman Saturday night, shouldering responsibility for a defeat he admitted was the party's biggest since its founding in 1986.

The KMT was the ruling party in China from 1912 until 1949, when it lost the Civil War in China and fled to Taiwan to set up a government-in-exile.

It ruled Taiwan with an iron fist until 2000 when the Taiwan native DPP won the presidential election and Chen became president.

Chen's rejection of Beijing's "one China" policy and his campaign to erase China's legacy in Taiwan has raised tension in the Taiwan Strait.

The KMT has adopted a softer stance towards China, saying Taipei and Beijing should put aside hostility and focus on economic integration and people-to-people exchanges.

Now that KMT has regained power, it must go all out to win the March 22 presidential polls. Public opinion polls have shown that KMT's presidential candidate Ma Ying-jeou leads his DPP rival Frank Hsien by about 10 per cent.

08:17 Jan 13, 2008

Body of slain man returned to Canada

The body of a Canadian man shot and killed in Thailand has been returned to his hometown of Calgary, Alberta, and the Canadian media reports that the family is still looking for answers.

Leo John Del Pinto, 24, died after being shot in the face and chest on Jan 6, and his female friend was wounded in Pai district town of Mai Hong Son province. Carly Reisig, 24, was recovering from a gunshot wound near her heart at the Pai hospital.

Family lawyer Adriano Iovinelli is worried that Del Pinto will become "just another Canadian killed abroad," according to a story by The Canadian Press news agency.

He says the Department of Foreign Affairs has done little to find out what happened.

But Iovinelli says he understands there is a Canadian representative on the ground in Thailand looking into the matter.

An autopsy on Del Pinto will be conducted Monday, and the family is hoping for a funeral late next week.

The shooter has been identified as an off-duty police officer, Pol Sgt Uthai Dechawiwat. He was not in uniform, and has told detectives the shooting was an accident.

He was subsequently charged with premeditated murder and released on bail, said police Col Sombat Panya.

Reisig told reporters she and Del Pinto had left a bar in Pai when a Thai man approached them and "hit me for no reason." Del Pinto pushed the man away, and he went to his nearby motorbike and returned with a gun.

Del Pinto tried to gain control of the handgun, but the Thai man shot him in the face and again in the body after the Canadian fell to the ground. The man then turned to Reisig and fired a shot at her chest.

05:29 Jan 13, 2008

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