Child's death at rally prompts national alert for rescue teams
February 24, 2014 00:00 By Pongphon Sarnsamak The Nation
Saturday night's shooting and bomb attacks on an anti-government rally in Trat's Khao Saming district, which killed a 5-year-old girl, have prompted a call from the Public Health Ministry for medical rescue teams to stand by around the clock and prepare
The attack occurred at around 9.30pm at Yingcharoen fresh market in Tambon San Tung, Khao Saming district. The five-year-old girl was shot in the head. She underwent emergency treatment in hospital, where a team of doctors tried to save her, but she succumbed to her injuries at 3.30am yesterday. She was the first child killed during the current political violence.
About 35 people were injured and received treatment at three hospitals – Trat, Krungthep-Trat and Rayong – after the attack. Five of the victims have now been discharged from the hospital.
The Public Health Ministry reported that another 5-year-old girl was also in a critical condition from bullets or bomb fragments. She has undergone treatment in the intensive care unit and is under close observation at Rayong Hospital.
The mother of the girl killed in Trat said they were not there for the rally. She said her daughter was playing while she was helping the girl’s grandmother wash dishes at the grandmother’s noodle stall.
The girl’s uncle told Nation TV that six other members of his family were injured in the attack while they were selling noodles. His family’s stall had been opened only three or four months before it was destroyed in the attack.
Since political unrest broke out on November 30, 2013, the Public Health Ministry reports 740 people hurt and 17 killed nationwide. Of this number, 696 of the injured were in Bangkok, two in Rayong, eight in Pathum Thani and 34 in Trat. To date, 52 casualties were still undergoing treatment at hospitals in Bangkok and upcountry.
To handle unexpected violent incidents, the ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Narong Sahametapat has instructed health officials nationwide to prepare medical rescue teams and stand by around the clock.
The ministry has prepared 11 medical rescue teams from hospitals under the Medical Services Department, Ramathibodi Hospital, the Thai Red Cross Society, the Poh Teck Tung Foundation and the Ruam Ka Tan Yu Foundation to provide medical treatment at rally sites in Bangkok and nearby provinces.