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Families Cremate 19 Victims of Daycare Massacre in Thailand



Families Cremate 19 Victims of Daycare Massacre in Thailand

Families devastated by the daycare massacre that took 36 lives, 24 of whom were toddlers, gathered Tuesday for their cremation.

The monarchy has been stunned by the tragedy in northeastern Thailand, one of the deadliest mass killings in the kingdom’s history.

Flags across Thailand flew half-mast while their Majesties, the King and Queen, visited victims’ relatives.

Chanting monks began the service at Wat Rat Samakee temple as the tired and bereaved rural community prepared to say their final goodbyes to 19 of those killed in the daycare massacre.

Other victims of the attack, carried out by a disgraced police officer who then killed his wife and son before killing himself, will be cremated at other temples in Nong Bua Lamphu.

Incense and the fading aroma of hundreds of flower bouquets hung in the air at Wat Rat Samakee as volunteers prepared the nearby area for the cremations of the daycare massacre victims.

Families Cremate 19 Victims of Daycare Massacre in Thailand

The royal household-sponsored funerals will conclude three days of rites that began on Saturday.

The mass cremation on Tuesday was unique because remains are usually burnt alone, but the area’s small local temples have been overwhelmed by the number of deaths.

Temporary furnaces were also set up at other neighbouring temples, according to Thai media.

On Monday, the beleaguered community joined as volunteers, soldiers, and authorities mixed cement and sprinkled gravel to prepare a field within the temple complex for cremation.

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has ordered a probe, saying police will interview more than 180 people.

The attacker, Panya Khamrab, a 34-year-old former disgraced police sergeant, was fired earlier in the year on a drugs charge, with neighbours believing he was a meth addict.

However, early testing revealed that he was not under the influence of narcotics when he committed the horrific massacre.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has convened an emergency meeting for Wednesday to discuss drug usage and gun violence, according to government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri.

Mr. Anucha stated that the meeting would decide on steps to prevent and suppress drug misuse and gun violence, rehabilitate offenders, and prevent and solve mental health problems.

He stated that the administration highly values issues, including firearms ownership and illegal narcotics.

The meeting was to establish a methodical manner to solve issues and avoid a repeat of the Oct. 6 mass shooting at a daycare centre in Nong Bua Lamphu province.

Deputy Prime Ministers Prawit Wongsuwon, Wissanu Krea-ngam, Anutin Charnvirakul, and Don Pramudwinai will attend the meeting, as would Interior Minister Anupong Paojinda, Justice Minister Somsak Thepsutin, Social Development and Human Security Minister Juti Krairiksh, Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin, Education Minister Treenuch Thienthong, and Deputy Defence Minister Chaichan Chang.

The attorney general, presidents of the courts of justice, the commander of the Royal Thai Police, and Bangkok Governor Chadchart Sittipunt would also be present.

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