The body of 45-year-old Herdri Henrikus Hermannes Vos (as named by police) from the Netherlands arrived at the Forensic Police headquarters in the capital last night, Lt Col Bandasak Srilert of the Sakoo Police told The Phuket News today (Aug 15).
“It is for finding the cause of death after Mr Herdri (sic) died after touching a steel fence beside the swimming pool at a hotel last Thursday (Aug 8),” he confirmed.
The examination by Forensic Police came at the request of Mr Herdri’s widow after doctors at Thalang Hospital reported that they were unable to provide a confirmed cause of death, Col Bandasak explained.
Col Bandasak said he was notified of the incident by staff at the Marina Express Hotel – on its own website called the “MARINA EXPRESS -AVIATOR- PHUKET AIRPORT” at about 9pm on Aug 8.
The incident happened around 6pm, he added.
“Mr Herdri checked in at 5pm on Aug 8. He came with his family, his wife, 50 years old, his 16-year old daughter and his 12-year-old son,” Col Bandasak noted.
Mr Herdri and his son went swimming in the pool at about 6pm, and was soon joined by his wife and daughter.
“There were other people in the pool also, about seven people in total, all playing and swimming around together,” Col Bandasak said.
“Mr Herdri got out of the pool and stood beside the fence. He grabbed hold of the fence and then screamed out loud in pain.
“His son tried to pull him away, but said that he too was electrocuted and fell into the pool. Mr Herdri then also fell into the pool,” Col Bandasak said.
However, when Mr Herdri fell into the pool, his head hit an underwater wall separating the adult and child sections of pool, he added.
“The wall is only about 10cm underwater, and there was a wound and bleeding on the back of Mr Herdri’s head,” Col Bandasak said.
“Hotel staff quickly came to help lifted him out of the pool and provided first aid, and called for an ambulance to take him to Thalang Hospital,” he added.
At that time, Mr Herdri was unconsciousness but still breathing, but only lightly, Col Bandasak said.
However, Mr Herdri was pronounced dead at the hospital, he added.
Doctors at Thalang Hospital confirmed that Mr Herdri had a wound on the middle finger of his right hand where the skin had almost been lifted off from the finger.
“Doctors reported that the skin around the wound was a dark colour as if it had been burned, but said they could definitively say that it was a burn or give a conclusive cause of death,” Col Bandasak said.
As such, Col Bandasak told The Phuket News that he could not conclude his investigation until Forensic Police had concluded their examination of Mr Herdri’s body.
“And his wife believes that her husband was electrocuted, and she has requested for his body to be examined further to confirm the cause of death,” Col Bandasak said.
“No charges have been filed against anyone at this stage,” Col Bandasak noted.
“We need to receive the Forensic Police report before we can decide if any charges are to be pressed,” he said.
Asked about the safety of the steel fence at the resort pool, Col Bandasak assured, “I checked it with officials from the PEA (Provincial Electricity Authority), but we found nothing that indicated that the fence may have been electrified,”
Marina Express Hotel General Manager Chalermwat Charoemaung told The Phuket News today, “I offer my condolence to this family about this accident. We helped him the best we could and got him to hospital as fast as possible.”
“We have not done anything with the fence as we and the police have not been able to find anything that may have caused this accident,” he added.
“Compensation will be provided for this case, but we need to wait for the police investigation results first for the insurance company,” he said.
“We will do for sure, and if there are any updates we will let people know,” he said.
“In the meantime, the hotel will have more CCTV cameras installed and I have ordered our security to increase their inspection of the grounds to make sure the hotel is safe for everybody,” he added.
Mr Herdri’s family checked out of the hotel the next day, Aug 9, Mr Chalermwat confirmed.