Investigation failure. No one held accountable. Cause of Chiang Mai tourist deaths remains unclear.
'No one held to account' for Chiang Mai hotel fatalities by Post Reporters
The families of three of the foreign tourists who died under mysterious circumstances after staying at a Chiang Mai hotel have expressed disappointment at a report into the deaths released last week, saying no one has been held personally accountable.
Stephen Everitt, whose parents George, 78, and Eileen, 74, were both found dead together in their room at the Downtown Inn on Feb 19 said he was frustrated by the report's findings.
The Disease Control Department's report - released on Tuesday after a five-month probe into six deaths which were associated with the hotel - concluded that three of the deaths were probably connected to the use of pesticides.
All the deaths occurred over a two month period.
The report said that the Everitts, from Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom, may have been poisoned by the same chemicals, but it could not make a direct link to the other three deaths.
"The case may be closed to the Thai authorities, but not to me," said Stephen Everitt.
I don't understand why such deadly chemicals would have been used in a hotel - there's no explanation.
The Downtown Inn is still open and no one has been held accountable for what happened. We need answers.
The report conceded that despite the best efforts of Thai authorities and their international partners, "the precise causes of the deaths and illnesses cannot be definitively identified or confirmed" and added that full laboratory tests had been hindered due to inadequate samples."
The parents of New Zealander Sarah Carter, 23, another hotel guest identified as likely to have died after exposure to pesticides, said they were hopeful that local health authorities would follow up the report's recommendation to better control the use of pesticides in hotels.
"That is positive for travellers to Thailand, and I would certainly like to see all those suggested remedies put into place," said Sarah Carter's father, Richard, who has set up a website warning about travel to Thailand
The fact that medical experts from both Thailand and overseas were involved in the investigation showed it had been taken seriously.
However, Mr Carter added that "they certainly haven't done anything that's in any way likely to make anyone accountable, [such as launching a] thorough investigation around the hotel or into the pesticide company."
A spokesman for New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully said that several aspects of the case remained unanswered. "The report does not identify how or where the individuals came into contact with the toxic substance, nor if any individual is responsible," he said. "We continue to encourage the Thai authorities to investigate."
Sarah Carter's mother, Anna, said the findings gave the family some finality. Local authorities originally said the woman had died from eating "toxic seaweed" from a food stall. "If it had only been that way right at the start, perhaps we would have had a clearer idea as to what caused the illnesses," she said.
(Source: Bangkok Post, 'No one held to account' for Chiang Mai hotel fatalities, 21/08/2011, Post Reporters, link)
acccountability (noun) - 1. being responsible for something that has happened (and possibly being rewarded for success or punished for failure); when a leader or manager accepts that they are responsibile for failure and usually resigns or is punished (See Wikipedia on accountability and leadership accountability )
accountable (adjective) - being responsible for what happens
hold accountable (verb) - finding that someone was responsible for what happened
X holds Y accountable for Z - X finds that bad event Z happened because of Y's action (so Y may be punished for this)
held accountable - blamed for bad event (and possibly punished)
no one has been held accountable for what happened - the person who caused the bad event to happen has not been identified or named
personally - done by one person (example: the local leader said he was personally responsible for the law not being followed and promptly resigned)
no one has been held personally accountable - no one leader or manager giving an order (or low level decisionmaker) has been blamed
no one held to account - same as "no one has been held personally accountable"
pesticides - poisons used to kill insects (for example: to kill cockroaches in a hotel) ยาฆ่าแมลง, ยากำจัดแมลง (See Wikipedia on pesticides, health effects and pesticide poisoning also see rodenticides which a previous article identified as the cause)
exposure - not covered or protected from harm (so there is a risk of being harmed)
exposure to pesticides - making contact or being near dangerous pesticides (could enter lungs, skin, mouth and cause harm to body)
toxic - poisonous and harmful to people, animals or the environment เป็นพิษ
toxic substance - some chemical that is poisonous and that can harm or kill people or animals
individual - one person (considered separately from their society or community) บุคคล
identify where the individuals came into contact with the toxic substance - locate and find the place where the poison entered the people's bodies
fatalities - people who died
Chiang Mai hotel fatalities - people who died while staying at one hotel in Chiang Mai
mysterious - not explained or understood; full of secrets ลึกลับ, น่าพิศวง, น่าประหลาด
circumstances - situation, conditions in which we live
circumstances - conditions and situation that affect what happens, influence outcome
mysterious circumstances - unsure about what actually happened in a situation
died under mysterious circumstances - a person died and the situation and conditions of their death are unclear)
disappointed (adjective) - sad, not happy (because something did not happen, or did not meet your high standards)
disappointment (noun) - the state of being sad (because something did not happen)
expressed disappointment - said they were sad
released - made available to the public
release a report - made a report available to the public
frustrated - feeling annoyed and impatient ผิดหวัง,ท้อแท้ใจมาก หงุดหงิดใจ
findings - the results or conclusions of an investigation or research (what a committee decides after looking at all the evidence)
probe - an attempt to find out the truth about an issue, problem or accident, made by an official group (or by the media); an investigation การตรวจสอบ การสอบสวน
conclusion - a decision or judgement about "what happened" made at the end of an investigation made into "what happened"
X concluded Y - X made conclusion Y
link - to connect เชื่อม
could not make a direct link - could not find anything (evidence) to connect the two things (show that they are related)
case closed - end of case (no more work will be done on the case)
authorities - government officials; the police or people in official organisations who have the legal power to make people obey laws or rules เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
conceded - admitted unwillingly that something is true ยอมรับ
despite the best efforts of - they worked hard but they failed
efforts - the work done towards achieving some goal, people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal ความพยายาม
international - ระหว่างประเทศ between countries
partners - people, organizations and companies that you work together with on projects
international partners - partners that come from foreign countries
precise - exact and accurate in details แน่นอน, ถูกต้อง, เที่ยงตรง แม่นยำ
identified - named ระบุชื่อ
confirmed - verified, prove and guarantee that a claim is true
precise causes of the deaths cannot be definitively identified - they don't know the exact cause of death
inadequate - not enough, or not good enough for a particular purpose อย่างไม่เพียงพอ
X hinders Y - X prevents Y from being successful
full laboratory tests had been hindered due to inadequate samples - the police or DSI investigating the deaths did not collect proper samples at the crime site, so lab people could not do the lab tests needed
local - in this country (here: Thailand)
local health authorities - high level government officials in Thailand who oversee and manage public health issues
follow up - continuing work done later to support initial work (example: the sales person followed up the initial sales call with regular phone calls)
recommendation - a suggestion or piece of advice about how to solve a problem, deal with a situation คำแนะนำ หรือข้อเสนอแนะ
follow up a recommendation - work to make sure a recommendation is acted on (and becomes true)
positive - good ที่ดี hopeful and confident, or giving cause for hope and confidence ซึ่งมองในแง่ดี
remedies - solutions to problems, methods to solve a problem
suggested remedies - solutions to problems (that a committee or group of experts believes are the way to solve the problem)
put into place - when procedures start to be used officially by an organization
suggested remedies put into place - when an organisation or the government starts officially using some method to solve a problem
investigation - the process of trying to find out all the details or facts about something in order to discover who or what caused it or how it happened การสอบสวน การตรวจสอบหาข้อเท็จจริง
taken seriously - showing that they are concerned and believe some matter or issue is important (rather than not doing anything or pretending it doesn't exist)
pesticide - chemicals to kill insects that eat and destroy plants (See Wikipedia) ยาฆ่าแมลง
identify - find, locate
individuals - persons บุคคล
contact - ติดต่อ
encourage - cause someone to gain enthusiasm, motivation, and energy in what they are doing ปลุกใจ
finality - the ending of something
the findings gave the family some finality - when the family finally knows what happened (helps in the process of mourning and grieving, acceptance of death) (See Wikipedia)
stall - a large table or a small building that is open at the front, used for selling things (or for giving people information) รถ หรือแผงขายของ
food stall - a small outdoor restaurant
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