A man who claims he witnessed a passenger projectile-vomit blood outside Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport yesterday morning, has gone public with his story on Facebook, saying he feared the man was potentially allowed to board a flight without a medical check-up.
The story quickly began making the rounds on social media after coffee shop owner Supot Kornpasitwattana posted a picture of a bloody puddle he said was the result of the vomiting he had witnessed.
When Coconuts Bangkok reached Supot by phone this afternoon, he said the incident had occurred yesterday at approximately 4am in the area outside Terminal 2, where Nok Air, a low-cost Thai airline, was checking in customers.
Ekarat Seefa, an employee at Supot’s coffee shop who was also present during the incident, explained that the mystery man, who he estimated to be in his 40s, had just exited a vehicle before immediately throwing up.
“[From a distance] I thought it was just throw up, until he turned his head to my direction and I saw blood stains on his mouth,” he said. “Then I noticed the huge puddle of blood on the floor.”
While Ekarat stayed with the man, Supot attempted to seek help from the first airline officials he found, who he said happened to be two young Nok Air representatives directing passengers to the check-in counter.
“I told them to call the ambulance immediately and get a first aid kit,” Supot explained. “The vomit was right outside the door, only about four meters away from the check-in counter — separated only by a glass door.”
“There’s no way anybody in the area could have missed it,” he added.
About five minutes later, housekeeping staff arrived on scene to clean up the bloody mess. However, Supot said, there was still no one attending to the sick man.
A few minutes later, a Nok Air representative approached the two eyewitnesses and asked if they were related to the victim, to which the men said no.
“She said ‘we only have a partnership with Samitivej hospital, we can take him there, but it’s going to be expensive,’” recalled Supot, who told Coconuts he was blown away by what he saw as a lack of professionalism.
Supot and Ekarat urged the man, at this point pale-faced and sweating profusely, to seek medical attention immediately, to which he allegedly replied: “It’s OK, I’m all better.”
“He looked really shocked [by the incident], but he insisted on catching a 7AM flight to Nakhon Si Thammarat because he has to go back to work,” Supot said, adding the man had said he’d been drinking on an empty stomach.
“He’s told us he’d been drinking heavily for two days.”
Moments later, the same Nok Air representative who had inquired if they were relatives returned and offered to expedite the sick man’s check-in process.
“She told him ‘you don’t have to go through the check in line, just give me your national ID and I’ll handle it for you,’” recalled Supot. “Then they walked away.”
That was the last the two men saw of him.
What both Supot and Ekarat were most taken aback by is the fact that the incident didn’t provoke a prompt medical response by anyone at the airport.
“Several other pedestrians witnessed the incident and obviously see the bloody puddle, but nobody else cared. Everybody just pretended like nothing happened,” Supot said.
Added Ekarat: “What would it take for anyone to do anything, for somebody to die?”
A public relations officer for Don Mueang reached this evening had little information, including whether or not the man had been allowed to fly, though insisted he had received a shot from a clinic within the hospital. A number the airport PR rep suggested we call went unanswered.
Attempts to reach a Nok Air employee with knowledge of the incident have thus far been unsuccessful, though a customer service representative we spoke to said that, according to company policy, a passenger must be bed-ridden to be denied permission to fly.