Army says conscript died of abnormal heartbeat

Army says conscript died of abnormal heartbeat

Army conscript Sree Budwong, 21, died in the early hours of Monday. The Army said  the cause was an abnormal heartbeat, not physical assault. (Photo from Facebook user Mathasa Rochai)
Army conscript Sree Budwong, 21, died in the early hours of Monday. The Army said the cause was an abnormal heartbeat, not physical assault. (Photo from Facebook user Mathasa Rochai)

A 21-year-old conscript died in a military hospital on Monday morning, and his sudden death has been attributed to an "abormal heartbeat".

The first that the family knew of conscript Seree Budwong's admission to the Royal Thai Air Force Hospital in Don Muang, Bangkok, was a phone call on Monday morning to inform them he had died about 2.45am.

Other details about his admission remained obscure.

Maj Gen Theerapong Patamasing Na Ayutthaya, spokesman for the Royal Thai Armed Forces, said on Tuesday the Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital’s medical examination showed that Seree died from an abnormal heartbeat, not from any physical assault.

A fact-finding probe had been ordered into the death to clear up all doubts and provide the bereaved family with closure, Maj Gen Theerapong said. 

The supreme commander had instructed the conscript's unit to take good care of the funeral rites.

Seree's father, Somsong Budwong, had gone to see his son's body, and had raised no doubts about the death, Maj Gen Theerapong said.

The Directorate of Communications, the conscript's unit, had assigned seven officers to take his body to his home province of Surin and attend the funeral rites every day. They would also attend the cremation ceremony. The armed forces would cover all funeral costs and was providing 200,000 baht financial assistance to Seree's father, he said.

On Monday, Facebook user Nathasa Rachai posted a message about losing her cousin, Seree, aka Nicky. His body was returned to his home province in Surin, she said.

Seree had reported to the Directorate of Communication on Sept 1. On Monday morning, a commander phoned the family and said Seree died in the early hours of Monday, she said.

The family was initially told he died from an ischemic stroke. The family had doubts about that, she said. The army later changed the cause of death, attributing it to an abnormal heartbeat.

"When he went into military camp, he walked there. When he left, he was in a coffin,'' she wrote.

Many other netizens also expressed doubts about the cause of his death, a topic which trended on the Twitter hashtag #ยกเลิกเกณฑ์ทหาร (Ending military conscription).


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