Foreign monk dies due to 'exhaustion'

Foreign monk dies due to 'exhaustion'

A 67-year-old monk from Luxembourg died at a temple in Nang Rong district of Buri Ram early on Saturday, with his death believed to have been caused by over-exertion from carrying sandbags to block floods.

Phra Santajitto Thera, also known as Jean Paul A Zenner, was found dead in front of the monk's dwelling at Wat Ban Chan, with his hand still gripping the electric wire of a water pump, said Pol Capt Chaleomchai Nenthoranee, deputy inspector of Nang Rong police.

Nang Rong Hospital and rescuers were called to examine the body. An initial examination showed no physical injury or indication that he had been electrocuted, so the cause of death is assumed to have been either a heart attack or underlying chronic disease.

Phra Sujitda Suthammo, secretary of the district head monk in Nang Rong, said Phra Santajitto had been ordained for 16 years. He had been at Wat Nong Tha Ying for more than 10 years, before spending another three years at Wat Ban Chan.

Just before his death, he had complained of chest pain and feeling tired while lugging sandbags around his dwelling, telling others that he was on "low battery", Phra Sujitda said.

Phra Santajitto made a will three months ago with instructions on how to handle his affairs, according to Det Sawatpoon, kamnan of tambon Nong Yai Phim.

It requested that his body be cremated at Wat Ban Chan without any ceremonies three days after his death, and that his ashes subsequently be placed in the wall around the temple. It also asked that the Luxembourg Embassy in Bangkok and his children in Germany be notified.

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