A Perth teacher has died and two people have been injured in a suspected lightning strike in north-eastern Thailand. Greg Crombie, 41, was leading a group of 12 or so students from Perth's Winthrop Baptist College on a week-long cultural exchange trip to Thailand.
The social studies teacher died during an excursion to the Thad Tone waterfalls near the town of Nong Sung, near the Thailand-Laos border. Local police say the group had been swimming and were resting by the falls when a thunderstorm struck.
A teaching assistant is in a serious condition. He is expected to be evacuated by helicopter to Bangkok, which is about 600 kilometres away. One of the year 11 students was also hurt. The school principal and a counsellor are on their way to Thailand to assist in taking the group home.
A second Australian has died from injuries sustained in an apparent lighting strike in north-eastern Thailand yesterday. Nineteen-year-old Thomas McGuinness was part of a group of cultural exchange students visiting local waterfalls. Mr McGuinness was a teacher's assistant from Perth's Winthrop Baptist College.
He died in a hospital today from his injuries. He was with a group of about 15 Australians and eight Thais who were on an excursion to the Thad Tone waterfalls, about 600 kilometres north-east of Bangkok. Three locals were also killed yesterday, and the falls are largely deserted today.
Local stall owners have told the ABC that people tried to and failed to rescusitate 41-year-old Greg Crombie, who was just metres from a tree which took the brunt of the lightning strike. Mr Crombie was a teacher leading the trip. He leaves behind four children, and his wife is expecting another child.
The chairman of Winthrop Baptist College, Rod White, says Mr McGuinness's parents are on their way to Thailand with the assistance of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The group of students will head back to Australia soon.
A group of year 11 students from Perth have begun the journey home from Thailand, after experiencing a freak electrical storm which killed two in their party at the weekend. The students and teachers from Winthrop Baptist College were due to arrive in Bangkok today.
Their onward travel details are still being finalised, but they are likely to be back home by Wednesday. The bodies of 40-year-old social studies teacher Greg Crombie and 19-year-old youth worker Thomas McGuinness are also expected to be sent to Bangkok today. The men were killed when lightning struck at a waterfall in a remote part of Thailand.
Three Thais were also killed. One Australian student was injured but has since been released from hospital.
She was expected to rejoin the group today.
The students were visiting the kingdom as part of a cultural exchange trip. The chairman of the Winthrop Baptist College board, Rod White, says the principal of the school has told him that the students are coping well in difficult circumstances.
"It's been a great shock for them, but he's had the opportunity to spend some one-on-one time with them," Mr White said.
"I know this afternoon, the last I spoke they were having lunch together and a small number of students would be going across to the hospital to see the student that was under observation."
Twee AustraliÃ«rs en drie Thai zijn overleden toen zij op een schoolreisje naar een waterval in het noordoosten van Thailand door de bliksem werden getroffen. Dat heeft de plaatselijke politie gemeld.
De slachtoffers bezochten de waterval zaterdag met een groep Australische en Thaise middelbare scholieren en docenten als onderdeel van een cultureel uitwisselingsprogramma. Toen de groep de waterval in de provincie Mukdahan, ruim vijfhonderd kilometer ten noordoosten van Bangkok, bereikte, brak een onweersbui los.
Schuilend voor de regen zocht de groep beschutting onder een grote boom. Daar sloeg vervolgens de bliksem in. Een 41-jarige Australische leraar en twee Thaise leerlingen waren op slag dood, een Australische jeugdwerker en een andere Thaise scholier overleden in het ziekenhuis.
Â©De Morgen | Gewijzigd: 3 februari 2017, 09:20 uur, door Joyce.s