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Miracle rescue in Hat Yai

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A baby's cry from the smoke-filled underground hotel car park allowed rescuers to find a semi-conscious father and his two-month old son. 

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Debris lies strewn about the Lee Gardens Plaza Hotel and shopping mall after a car bomb ripped through the hotel’s underground car park on Saturday. THITI WANNAMONTHA


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A miracle from the depths of despair

Wichayant Boonchote

It was a perfect family day out for the Intarasuwan family at the Lee Gardens Plaza shopping mall.
 
They had just rounded it off by watching a star-studded variety show.

Paisit, the father, went down to the B2 level of the underground carpark with their two-month-old baby boy, Kannapat, or Nong Kan, while the mother, Nisachon, was waiting at an exit with another child.

Minutes later there was a loud explosion. As Nisachon fled the building, her husband called out and told her it was all dark down there.

"Then he called again. He was crying this time and begging me to get help for our son. He couldn't breathe. I heard the baby cry," Ms Nisachon said.

Firefighters arrived and went down to the underground car park and searched frantically through the debris for survivors. The smoke and the dust were intense.

She decided to lie when the rescue workers decided to give up.

"I told them we had just talked. I told them they were alive. I still had some hope," she said.

But her heart sank as more time went by. Just as rescue workers were giving up hope, they heard a baby cry.

They made their way towards the sound and saw a shirtless man holding a baby.

He was using his moist shirt to cover the baby's face. His face, back and arms were blackened by smoke, or probably burned.

The man was nearly unconscious.

"The firefighters heard Kan cry. We almost lost them," she said.

Mr Paisit and Kan had been trapped under the rubble for about three hours before help arrived.

A rescue worker said it was a miracle they were able to find survivors under so much rubble. Billowing smoke and heat almost paralysed rescue efforts.

He said the father and the baby seemed to help each other as they awaited rescue.

"The baby was quiet much of the time because he felt safe in his father's arms. He cried just when his father was about to pass out," he said.

Mr Paisit and the infant boy are now being treated in hospital.

Both father and son have been put on a respirator. Kan's condition is being monitored due to lung inflammation. Mr Paisit's condition is improving.

"He is conscious but he can't talk much. He asks about Kan all the time," Ms Nisachon said.

She said she hopes her husband will fully recover and be able to attend a graduation ceremony at Rajabhat Institute of Songkhla.

debris – the broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed ซากปรักหักพัง
strewn – covered with things, especially in a disordered way อีฉุยอีแฉก, กระจัดกระจาย
rip through – to go very quickly and violently into or through somebody/something; to damage or destroy a place very quickly  ทะลุผ่าน, ระเบิด
miracle – an unusual and mysterious event that is thought to have been caused by a god, or any very surprising and unexpected event เรื่องมหัศจรรย์, ปาฏิหาริย์
depths of despair – in a condition where you have lost all hope ความรู้สึกสิ้นหวัง, ความหมดหวัง
round off – to finish an activity or complete something in a good or suitable way จบอย่างสวยงาม, จบด้วยดี
star-studded – including many famous performers
variety show – a production which has different types of performances วาไรตี้โชว์
exit – a place for leaving a building or area; a way out of a building or area ทางออก
fled (past of flee) – escaped; left an area very quickly because of a danger there หนีไป
beg – to ask somebody for something especially in an anxious way because you want or need it very much อ้อนวอน, ขอร้อง
breathe – to bring air in and out of the lungs หายใจ
search – to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
frantically – done in a very urgent way อย่างกระวนกระวาย, อย่างไม่สามารถ
debris – broken pieces that are left when something large has been destroyed  เศษ ซากปรักหักพัง  ซากสิ่งของที่ถูกทำลาย
survivor – someone who still exists after an event that could have killed or destroyed them ผู้รอดชีวิต
dust – very small pieces of dirt that cover surfaces inside buildings like a powder  ฝุ่น
intense – very strong แรง, เข้มข้น
lie – to say or write something that you know is not true โกหก, พูดเท็จ
give up – to admit that you can’t succeed and stop trying ยอมแพ้
her heart sank – she began to lose hope
moist – containing water; slightly wet เปียกชื้น
unconscious – in a sleeplike condition, usually from an illness or injury  หมดสติ
trapped – to be in a dangerous or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult or impossible to escape ถูกกับดัก
rubble – broken pieces of stone and brick from building, walls, etc., that have been destroyed ซากปรักหักพัง
rescue worker – a person who save someone from a dangerous or unpleasant situation ผู้ช่วยชีวิต
billow – to spread over a large area ทำให้พอง
paralysed – to cause to be unable to move; to be unable to make progress ทำให้เป็นอัมพาต
pass out – to become unconscious  หมดสติ
treat – to provide medical care รักษา
respirator – a piece of equipment used to help someone breathe เครื่องช่วยหายใจ
monitor – to regularly check someone/something จับตาดู เฝ้าระมัดระวัง
lung – one of the two organs in your chest that fill with air when you breathe ปอด
inflammation – a red, painful and often swollen area in or on a part of your body การอักเสบ
condition – the physical state of a person or animal, especially how healthy they are อาการ, สุขภาพ
improve – to get better  ดีขึ้น
conscious – aware; awake and knowing what is going on around you มีสติ
recover – to become normal and healthy again ฟื้นฟูสภาพ

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