Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Young woman dies in fall from cliff top


Young woman dies in fall from cliff top


Authorities survey the spot on Phu Chee Fah mountain where Panchita Sakornjan, a 27-year-old employee at Samitivej Srinakarin hospital, fell to her death yesterday. Her body was found 200 metres down the cliff. Officials said a warning sign was in the area but she might not have seen it.

Chiang Rai _ A woman tourist was killed in a fall from a cliff on Phu Chee Fah mountain in Thoeng district yesterday. She fell to her death while taking photos of the scenic mountain bordering Laos.

Panchita Sakornjan, 27, from Rayong, an employee of Samitivej hospital, fell through a hole in a patch of grass near the edge of the mountain, plummeting into a ravine 200 metres below.

She had apparently failed to notice a warning sign.

Some of her friends bravely climbed down the cliff in an attempt to rescue her, but could not reach her and had to turn back about halfway because it was too foggy.

Police were later called in to help in the search. With the help of officers in Laos they finally found Panchita's body on the Lao side.

''It was an accident. The woman failed to see the warning board,'' said Thoeng district police chief Pol Col Tosapume Jaroenporn.

Panchita is the second person to die at the popular tourist site. In 2004, a Japanese tourist plunged to his death there.

The 1,200-metre-high mountain is one of the most popular tourist spots in this northern province.

Meanwhile, Meteorology Department chief Suparuek Tansrirattanawong yesterday urged motorists to exercise caution as most regions of the country would continue to be shrouded in thick fog, particular in the morning, until the middle of the month.

The misty weather results from a high pressure system which brings in a cold front from China causing strong sea winds in the Gulf of Thailand, which pushes moisture inland.

Drivers have complained of poor visibility, saying it was down to only 100 metres, while pilots have found it difficult to land at Suvarnabhumi airport in recent days.

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