Fitness warning after tourist dies climbing Phu Kradueng

Fitness warning after tourist dies climbing Phu Kradueng

Tourists enjoy the dawn from Pha Nok An cliff, at the top of Phu Kradueng mountain in Loei. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Tourists enjoy the dawn from Pha Nok An cliff, at the top of Phu Kradueng mountain in Loei. (Bangkok Post file photo)

Visitors to Phu Kradueng and other mountains should ensure they are fit enough to make the climb, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa said on Monday, after a tourist had a fatal heart attack on his way to top of the national park.

Phu Kradueng National Park chief Samret Phusansri said on Sunday that a 62-year-old man had suffered a heart attack while on a trail to the top of the mountain with three friends 

They had arrived at the park, in Phu Kradueng district of Loei, from Samut Sakhon about 10.30am and started the steep climb four hours later.

The man, whose name was not released, collapsed on the trail, about three kilometres from the park entrance. His friends called for help and medics gave him oxygen before taking him back down the mountain. He was later pronounced dead. 

The trail from the foot of the mountain to the top of Phu Kradueng is nine kilometres long. It takes at least three hours to arrive at the camping areas on the plateau, depending on the hiker's fitness. 

Mr Varavut said all visitors to Phu Kradueng and other mountain parks should ensure their  health is good and they are fit enough to make the climb.

The minister said, however, the visitor's death should not be used by supporters of a controversial proposed cable car to push for approval for the project. 

The proposed cable car to the top of the mountain has been subject to debate for many years, with supporters claiming it would allow the elderly and people unable to make the climb to enjoy the park's most famous feature - the view from the top at dawn. Opponents say it would only ruin the scenary.

Phu Kradueng is one of the most popular parks in the country. Only 2,000 people are allowed in at a time. It is always full on long weekends, including the holiday from Thursday last week to Sunday.

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