A woman and her son can be seen calmly stepping into a street when sparks and an explosion hit the scene, leaving her leg savagely burned.
Malini Wirasuchart was burned by a high-capacity power line that snapped and fell onto her in front of a Korat market, footage of which was posted by her boyfriend yesterday.
“That’s my girlfriend in the incident and most importantly my son was also there. Right now we’ve spent THB1,000,000 [US$33,000] on treatment already,” Facebook user Ester Chill wrote in a Facebook post along with photos, a video and description of what happened.
He says that he wants whoever was responsible for the cable’s installation and maintenance to take responsibility.
“I want to ask for legal advice to get compensation because we’ve lost so much already from the incident,” he added. “I understand there’s a long procedure, but we’ve been waiting a long time.”
Thailand is famous for its large coils of overhead power and data lines that accumulate over the years into large and potentially dangerous messes. Indeed walking down many streets involves carefully avoiding contact with dangling wires that may or may not be live. Bangkok has embarked on a long and expensive campaign to underground them, but little progress has been made.
In the clip, Malini can be seen dropping to the floor when the cable falls, the end of which can be seen for a moment. It sends up wash of sparks, smoke and flame. A couple of nearby moto taxi drivers rush to help her while her son, standing on the sidewalk, runs away terrified.
One man stamps out the remaining flames before dragging Malini, who appears to be writhing in pain, onto the sidewalk. That’s when a second blast occurs just off camera. Fortunately no one appeared harmed the second time.
“Usually my wife and my son walk side by side. We were lucky that they were not so near each other when the incident occurred or else he would have likely died. Just seeing this freaked him out for days,” Ester wrote.
Ester posted additional images of Malini’s badly burned leg in a hospital bed. She spent most of September in the hospital, and other photos show her undergoing physical therapy for her leg because, he said, “she cannot walk.”
As of publication time, he had not responded to messages seeking comment.
According to a statement published on Ester’s Facebook the provincial electrical authority did apologize for the incident and promised to examine the cable. It said the incident occurred due to a short circuit that severed the cable and exploded.