Probe finds 'night with corpse' rescue worker blameless

Probe finds 'night with corpse' rescue worker blameless

Ekaphan Bunluerit, personnel manager of Ruam Katanyu Foundation, left, with rescue volunteer Noppadol Seethongkham, right, at its headquarters in Samut Prakan province on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)
Ekaphan Bunluerit, personnel manager of Ruam Katanyu Foundation, left, with rescue volunteer Noppadol Seethongkham, right, at its headquarters in Samut Prakan province on Tuesday afternoon. (Photo by Sutthiwit Chayutworakan)

SAMUT PRAKAN: The Ruam Katanyu Foundation will reinstate the rescue volunteer whose "night with a corpse" last week caused an online sensation.

Ekaphan Bunluerit, personnel manager of the foundation, said its executives found 55-year-old volunteer, Noppadol Seethongkham, blameless in the incident.

According to the online post that sparked the interest, he had to watch over the body of a suicide victim on a river pier for six hours while police fought an overnight jurisdiction battle.

It was later reported the volunteer did not wait with the corpse for the whole six hours. He left for another job and returned to the corpse on the pier later. 

Mr Noppadol was sidelined after the story went viral, removed from the field and transferred to a day job at the foundation headquarters.

The inquiry at Ruam Katanyu headquarters in Samut Prakan took only an hour to conclude that Mr Noppadol was blameless.

The online post last week that sparked such wide reaction, including a photo of Mr Noppadol, was a distortion of the facts by a third-party internet poster, Mr Ekaphan said.

"We do not know the objective of the person who posted it. But the incident caused negative criticism, reflected badly on the police and had an impact on our organisation. We will find out who twisted the information and then ask police to take action," Mr Ekaphan said.

As Mr Noppadol was innocent of any wrongdoing, he would be reinstated, and would resume work in the field "in a few days".

Mr Noppadol said he had been working in the field collecting bodies at night for more than 10 years and the  transfer to head office forced him to suddenly adjust his sleeping hours. He said he had no concerns any more and he thanked everyone who had given him moral support.


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