Probe demanded after 24 army recruits suffer sunstroke

Probe demanded after 24 army recruits suffer sunstroke

Deputy Army Region 4 commander Maj Gen Paisal Nusang visits a student at an unknown hospital in Narathiwat, with a parent at his side. The boy became ill after an army training course on Monday. (Photo: Abdullah Benjakat)
Deputy Army Region 4 commander Maj Gen Paisal Nusang visits a student at an unknown hospital in Narathiwat, with a parent at his side. The boy became ill after an army training course on Monday. (Photo: Abdullah Benjakat)

An independent panel with no interference from the army should be formed to look into a military training session under the scorching sun in Narathiwat that sent 23 to hospital, eight of them in serious condition, a human rights advocate says.

Anchana Heemmina, who leads Duayjai Group, a Songkhla-based human rights advocacy organisation in the southernmost province, on Sunday called on the army to leave a fact-finding panel a free hand, with no representatives from the force, to probe army trainers responsible for the programme.

She also demanded a public apology from the army over the incident.

The southern army was in the spotlight after the father of an injured student posted on his Facebook account on Tuesday showing his son in critical condition after attending the territorial defence programme in the southern province. The boy suffered acute dehydration and damaged muscle tissue.

The programme at the Army Reserve Training Centre was scheduled for Nov 26 to Saturday. Participants included new and old students.

The course was suspended on Friday after 23 new students were sent to Naradhiwas Rajanagarindra in Muang district and Rueso Hospital in Rueso district on Monday due to serious dehydration, eight of them given kidney dialysis.

Army Region 4 commander Lt Gen Santi Sakuntanak said on Saturday the students were put under extremely hot weather conditions but all were safe.

"Weather was extremely hot on that day," Channel 3 news programme quoted him as saying. "That was their first training day and they might still be unable to adjust themselves to the course."

He said he was sorry for what had happened.

The southern army chief referred to the training on Monday, three days after it started.

Deputy Army Region 4 commander Maj Gen Paisal Nusang said on Sunday all trainers would be probed and would direct them to prevent it from happening in the future.



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