Dad suspects foul play in navy deserter's death

Dad suspects foul play in navy deserter's death

The navy yesterday clarified details about the death of a recruit in Chon Buri's Sattahip district after his father alleged he had been attacked.

Thamrongchai Songdej died on Monday in an intensive care unit at Somdech Phra Nangchao Sirikit Hospital where he was admitted on April 5 and diagnosed with acute kidney failure, according to the navy.

His father, Nathanarong, demanded on Thursday that the navy explain his son's death. He claimed his son told him during a hospital visit that he had been set upon by others.

Vice Adm Pokkrong Monthatphalin, a navy spokesman, insisted yesterday there was no foul play involved.

Thamrongchai, who was detained at a prison at Sattahip naval base for deserting, fell ill on March 26 when working outside the prison with others. He recovered after taking some rest and returned to work as normal.

However, the recruit complained about breathing difficulties on April 5 and was sent for a check-up at the base hospital. The doctor referred him for a thorough examination at Somdech Phra Nangchao Sirikit Hospital and he was diagnosed with acute kidney failure.

Thamrongchai was taken to the ICU, put on a respirator and treated. He was transferred from the ICU on April 16 after he was able to breathe on his own but continued to receive treatment for kidney failure.

Two days later his condition deteriorated again and he was sent back to the ICU. He died at 12.26pm from septic shock.

Vice Adm Pokkrong said the navy contacted the family on April 5 and kept them updated. The navy also showed them prison CCTV footage and questioned Thamrongchai's cellmates.

They said nothing out of the ordinary had happened.

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