Thai schoolgirl, 7, dies forgotten in school van

A second grade student died after she was apparently left unattended in this van in Chonburi province’s Phanthong district. Photo: Chonburi Provincial Police
A second grade student died after she was apparently left unattended in this van in Chonburi province’s Phanthong district. Photo: Chonburi Provincial Police

Police today were investigating the death of a 7-year-old girl found dead inside a school van southeast of the capital in Chonburi province.

Second-grader Khemnit “Ji Hoon” Thongyu was found lying face down and unconscious last night by the driver who had apparently forgotten she was inside. She was taken to Phanthong Hospital and pronounced dead.

The driver told the authorities and doctors that he had dropped off all the students in the morning before parking the vehicle to await the return trip to take them home.

Upon opening the door of the van that evening, he found Khemnit lying motionless and went to notify the school’s teachers. Attempts to revive Khemnit were unsuccessful.

Later that evening, the school driver and teachers delivered the news to Khenmit’s family, who say they refused to say what had happened and hid the fact she likely suffocated to death. Instead, Khenmit’s mother said, they asked her if her daughter had any underlying health conditions.

The parents of the child have filed a negligence complaint against the school with local police in Chonburi’s Phanthong district.

Children left unattended in vehicles can die of asphyxiation and heatstroke. 

In 2016, a 3-year-old girl was found dead in a school bus on the outskirts of Bangkok after she was left in a van for over seven hours. Her driver was blamed for neglecting to do a head count.

Public health agencies reported approximately 130 incidents of children forgotten and left in vehicles from 2014 to 2020.

Related
Girl, 3, dies after driver left her in school van for 7 hours

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