Rescue workers have recovered the bodies of a man and his 7 year-old daughter after the jumped into the Mekong river and drowned. Police in northeastern Thailand believe the incident to be a dual suicide.
Nakhon Phanom police said the incident occurred at about 6.30pm in front of the governor’s riverside residence on Sunthorn Wichit Road in Nakhon Phanom province in northeastern Thailand.
A rescue unit and divers from the Mekong Riverine Unit rushed to the pier from which the man and his daughter were seen jumping into the river. Two dogs accompanying them also followed suit.
The rescuers and divers retrieved the bodies of the man and his daughter from the Mekong River, not far from the pier, after about an hour of searching.
The man was identified as Rakangngern Intra, 30, a food delivery courier. The daughter was Kulnart Intra, 7, a Prathom 1 student at a local elementary School.
When their bodies were brought ashore, the two dogs, which swam to the shore earlier, approached the corpses.
Police continue to investigate
Mrs Somkid, 53, Rakangngern’s mother, said her son had two daughters, 7 and 4. Furthermore his wife left him about two years ago, leaving the two daughters in his care. Mrs Somkid her son and the two girls lived in a rented house in the Muang district.
The woman said her son was about 100,000 baht in debt and had expressed his anxiety, but she had no idea he would take such a tragic course of action. Police are also continuing their investigation and are awaiting a postmortem examination of the two bodies.
Thailand has the highest rate of suicide among Southeast Asian nations. It is estimated that one person tries to kill themselves every 10 minutes. According to a 2019 World Health Organization (WHO) report, there are 14.4 suicides per 100,000 people in Thailand, whereas neighbouring Cambodia records 5.3 and the Philippines 3.2 per 100,000.
The rate of suicide had already been increasing year-on-year in Thailand pre-pandemic, but during Covid-19, the figure leapt by 11 per cent from 2019 to the end of 2020, from 4,581 to 5,085 deaths, according to statistics from the Ministry for Health.