Man chugs beer, falls over dead at Thai company party

Contestants raise their glasses moments before Saturday’s drinking contest took a fatal turn. Image: Drama Clip / Facebook
Contestants raise their glasses moments before Saturday’s drinking contest took a fatal turn. Image: Drama Clip / Facebook

Within seconds of guzzling a large pint of beer at a company drinking contest, a man is seen collapsing face-first onto the floor, where he dies before horrified coworkers and friends.

Footage of the fatal game, which indicates it was shot at the Regent Cha-am Beach Resort, prompted an investigation today by health officials, who said media speculation that he died of alcohol poisoning was premature until a forensic examination was completed.

“Yes, he immediately died after drinking alcohol, but there are so many possible contributing factors that we cannot even say that alcohol caused it right now. We have to see if the victim was allergic to anything, whether he had any underlying conditions or was drinking on an empty stomach and things like that,” said Somsak Laikabohk of the provincial Disease Control Department.

The footage from Saturday night’s deadly drinking contest in Phetchaburi’s Cha-am district shows party guests, including the unidentified victim, lined up in front of a stage to see who can finish their beer the fastest.

After the host exhorts them to “raise your glasses when you’re done” and counts down to zero, participants begin pouring beer down their throats.

It takes the victim a little over 30 seconds to finish, after which he raises his glass in triumph, only to collapse forward seconds later. The video cuts off there.

“Then he went into a seizure, and beer started coming out of his nose and mouth,” according to Twitter user Cutiee_lovely, who claimed to have witnessed the incident and wrote about it in a string of Saturday messages – all of which now seem deleted.  

By the time ambulances arrived to the party, according to Cutiee_lovely, the man’s heart had stopped beating. As of Tuesday afternoon, the Twitter account had not responded to requests for comment. 

There’s no indication of how much the man had to drink prior to his final, fatal glass. Short of alcohol poisoning, drinking too much of anything can be fatal. A California woman famously died after rapidly drinking 7 liters of water in 2009 to win a Nintendo console as part of a radio station contest.

The Regent Cha-am Beach Resort said it would return a reporter’s call but had not done so by 3:30pm.

Somsak, the local disease control official, said autopsy results would be shared with the public once they were available. He said doctors hoped to conclude their findings by the end of Tuesday, after which the man’s body would be transported north to his family for a funeral. 

This is a developing story and may updated without notice.

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