Patient dies after reds block road

A patient suffering from a heart attack died as the ambulance he was in was delayed by traffic congestion at a red shirt rally against a yellow shirt-sponsored seminar in Ubon Ratchathani on Sunday, reports said.

About 300 supporters of the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD) gathered in front of Sunee Grand Hotel in Muang district which was hosting a political seminar held by the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD). The event was held to criticise the administration of the Pheu Thai-led government.   

The group led by Chamroonsak Chantaramai used loud speakers to disrupt the seminar and deliver verbal attacks on PAD co-leaders including Maj-Gen Chamlong Srimuang. They also criticised the hotel management for allowing the yellow shirts to organise the event, which they said was an insult to the red shirts in the province.  

More than 300 police officers were deployed to maintain order. 

Reports said the red shirts blocked the road outiside the hotel causing heavy traffic congestion in nearby areas. Reports said the ambulance transporting the heart patient to hospital was trapped in the traffic. The ambulance officers were forced to transfer the patient to another ambulance.

The patient, whose name was not disclosed, was pronounced dead at the hospital. It was not known if the patient died at the hospital or on the way to it. 

Reports said some protesters tried to break into the PAD seminar room from the hotel’s car park entrance but were blocked by volunteers from Yieaw Waeha (Sky Hawk) paramedics unit. Mr Chamroonsak reportedly had a fist-fight with a Yieaw Waeha volunteer and both were slightly injured.

The protesters also reportedly punched a male hotel gardener in the face after he tried to ask them to stop treading on the hotel’s decorative garden. 

The UDD supporters dispersed at 3pm. The PAD seminar was due to end at 9pm.

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