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Two Australian Brothers In Critical Condition After Balcony Collapse


sriracha john

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Critical ... Jeremy (top) and Guy Webster.

Sydney teen boys critical after Thailand balcony collapse

TWO Sydney teenage brothers are fighting for their lives in a Bangkok hospital after plunging 5 meters when a rotten balcony railing collapsed.

Jeremy Webster 18, and brother Guy, 14, from Ingleside, were celebrating their mother Linda's birthday at Baan Samui Resort at Koh Samui.

The family was having breakfast when the railing gave way and the boys fell two storeys. Both were rushed to a local hospital before being flown to Bangkok.

Jeremy sustained head injuries and a possible spinal injury while Guy was to undergo surgery overnight for a shattered femur.

"They had just given me breakfast," Ms Webster said last night. "They came out to talk to me about what they had organised for me today - I was to have a massage.

"Then they went to the edge, looking downstairs to talk to my daughter and as my older son leant on the railing it just gave way and my other son went with him. He hit his head on a rock when he fell and my other son ended up in a pond."

Her sister Julianne Vincent said Jeremy had just turned 18 and was celebrating finishing his HSC at Northern Beaches Christian School. She said Ms Webster and her daughter Kelly, 20, were forced to fly on a commercial aircraft to Bangkok because there was not enough space in the medical helicopter.

"All we are trying to do is just try to get them some help," Ms Vincent said last night.

A Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman confirmed the Australian consulate in Thailand was aware of the incident but he had no further details: "We are aware of it and our post in Thailand is checking it out."

Baan Samui Resort is popular tourist destination along Chaweng Beach and boasts that all suites lead to balconies overlooking the beach.

Source: The Daily Telegraph / 2009-01-29

Edited by sriracha john
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My heart goes out to the family.As a person who grew up in America, I have seen much shoddy work here in Thailand. Last week at the grand opening of the new shopping mall, I would not let my 7 yr old son get near the railing on the top balcony outside, because here in the LOS, you just never know, no matter good it might look, it could be nothing more than a facade. Good luck kids.

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But how is the one who fell in a pond and broke his femur "fighting for his live"

The femoral artery (and branches of it) and femoral vein run next to to it so it is easily possible to be "life" threatening. But let's hope for the best for the two.

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This is just horrible, there is no accountability here in this country for anything. You would think the property owner would be concerned about dangerous balconies but I doubt it ever crossed their mind.

I hope these boys can recover from this, prayers out to them and family............................

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I am a frequent visitor to the Chiang Mai airport plaza shopping mall, which has a similar sort of railing system on each floor. I have often wondered how safe these are and would never put my weight on them.

But of course new visitors to Thailand would not know this. Extremely tragic, the parents must be going through hel_l.

Will anyone be accountable for not maintaining and ensuring safety standards at the resort? I doubt it.

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I am a frequent visitor to the Chiang Mai airport plaza shopping mall, which has a similar sort of railing system on each floor. I have often wondered how safe these are and would never put my weight on them.

But of course new visitors to Thailand would not know this. Extremely tragic, the parents must be going through hel_l.

Will anyone be accountable for not maintaining and ensuring safety standards at the resort? I doubt it.

No similarity I can see, other than they are... railings. You'll find the Plaza railings are well beefed-up, are sat in inches of steel-re-inforced concrete and will have a high factor of safety (yes, even for here), plus it's all indoors. This place in Samui is a mickey mouse job and the wood has gotten rotten through the sea air and probably zero checks/maintenance. The joists holding the railings are wooden with a bit of box section screwed over, looking at the underside of the upper floor.

A sh1t state of affairs and a nightmare for the family. The owners should be seriously shafted for this, spending as little as possible to make it look good. Hope the lads pull through.

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I hope the lads pull through, and their Mother manages to put the shock behind her (though it cannot help but take its toll on her).

There is a lesson here for all travellers.

When you travel, you take the risk that you may be misled by the assumptions that you bring with you.

What you have got used to (in this case, building safety standards protecting you by making railings safe to lean over) may not be the same in another country.

As a young man, I went from the UK to work in Canada and twice I was nearly killed in Montreal because I looked right before stepping off a kerb (as one does in the UK) rather than left (as one needs to do in Canada, where they drive on the other side of the road).

In Nepal, we used to get fed up on the Everest Trek with Europeans (often young Germans) who were critical of the slow service in the lodges (because the owner only had the one wood fire on which to cook and so had to cook the meals in succession). I wish I had a gold coin for the number of times that I have growled: "If you wanted it all to go like clockwork, you should have gone to Switzerland, to the Alps, and not come to the Himalaya".

Getting back to the case in point, it is particularly difficult now to spot when you are 'standing into danger' in overseas touristy areas, as there are efforts made to get you to think, particularly when you are reading the brochures and about to make your purchase decision, that the place you will be going to is not alarmingly different from your home surroundings.

Those railings were built to be photographed looking 'Aussie'.

Had the lads been up on the balcony of house in a village in Isaan, they would not have been lulled into any sense of security that would have caused them to 'do an Aussie thing'. The sensing that they were somewhere 'strange and new' and needed to be cautious would have been in their minds.

Every tourist brochure should be thought of as lacking a warning notice:"This place has different hazards from what you are used to" in the manner of the warnings on ciggy packs.

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I am a frequent visitor to the Chiang Mai airport plaza shopping mall, which has a similar sort of railing system on each floor. I have often wondered how safe these are and would never put my weight on them.

But of course new visitors to Thailand would not know this. Extremely tragic, the parents must be going through hel_l.

Will anyone be accountable for not maintaining and ensuring safety standards at the resort? I doubt it.

No similarity I can see, other than they are... railings. You'll find the Plaza railings are well beefed-up, are sat in inches of steel-re-inforced concrete and will have a high factor of safety (yes, even for here), plus it's all indoors. This place in Samui is a mickey mouse job and the wood has gotten rotten through the sea air and probably zero checks/maintenance. The joists holding the railings are wooden with a bit of box section screwed over, looking at the underside of the upper floor.

A sh1t state of affairs and a nightmare for the family. The owners should be seriously shafted for this, spending as little as possible to make it look good. Hope the lads pull through.

I too am a frequent visitor to Airport Plaza and yes there are railings with a considerable drop if one (an individual) were to fall but that is where the similarity to the wood balcony railings at this dump on Samui ends.

There (Samui) the railings were obviously rotten and in true Thai style the rot hidden by a coat of paint.

No!, there is absolutely no accounability here in the realm :o

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i have just spoken to someone in my office and they have told me this hotel was warned 1 year ago to improve safety as a young toddler broke through the railings on the balcony and suffered a seroius complaint from the parents due to safty of the balcony!

did it get done NO!

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i have just spoken to someone in my office and they have told me this hotel was warned 1 year ago to improve safety as a young toddler broke through the railings on the balcony and suffered a seroius complaint from the parents due to safty of the balcony!

did it get done NO!

I hope the owners are held accountable and justice is served. It's bad enough, but to happen again after they were warned... :o

Good luck to the boys.

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i have just spoken to someone in my office and they have told me this hotel was warned 1 year ago to improve safety as a young toddler broke through the railings on the balcony and suffered a seroius complaint from the parents due to safty of the balcony!

did it get done NO!

They probably expected better from some place charging 6,000 - 8,000 baht per night.... but that doesn't always ensure much.

Edited by sriracha john
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i have just spoken to someone in my office and they have told me this hotel was warned 1 year ago to improve safety as a young toddler broke through the railings on the balcony and suffered a seroius complaint from the parents due to safty of the balcony!

did it get done NO!

They probably expected better from some place charging 6,000 - 8,000 baht per night.... but that doesn't always ensure much.

I think tourists would expect that all is safe when staying at these types of resorts.no excuse for this type of thing to happen.shame on the resort.

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An appalling and such an easily preventable tragedy.

I wish the two lads a full recovery.

They'll be very fortunate if the resort contributes more than a nominal amount to their medical expenses. The management will rely on the fact that most family groups will have extensive travel insurance. Expect a name change in 2 or 3 months and then business as usual.

:o

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If the hotel took one days fee out of the years 365 days to make sure the rooms and balcony was up to safety standard and repair what wasn't...so many of these news-items wouldn't have been posted over the years...

...still get upset thinking about the 3 year old getting zapped to death touching a railing in Fashion Island, especially since my son is reaching the same age. Choddy workmanship and maintenance is running amok here.

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An appalling and such an easily preventable tragedy.

I wish the two lads a full recovery.

They'll be very fortunate if the resort contributes more than a nominal amount to their medical expenses. The management will rely on the fact that most family groups will have extensive travel insurance. Expect a name change in 2 or 3 months and then business as usual.

:o

If thailand are serious about western tourists coming to thailand then they need to raise their game and put in place maintenance procedures and govt. authorities need to put in place regulations to ensure safety,for example balcony railings are built too low for people's safety.Either that or they need to put out warning signs:

like 'beware of faulty railings"

"beware tiles around the pool are not "non slip"

"beware chipped tiles inside the pool"

"it is not our responsibility if you fall over cracked pavement"etc. etc.

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This is just horrible, there is no accountability here in this country for anything. You would think the property owner would be concerned about dangerous balconies but I doubt it ever crossed their mind.

I hope these boys can recover from this, prayers out to them and family............................

I hope the best for this family, but accountability in Thailand??? LOLOL oh my.... I guess next someone will ask for taking responsibility, and hark!!! might consequences on the horizon??? Ah, doubt it because giving the appearance i.e. saving face is foremost along w/ profit.

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My sympathies and best wishes for the family, I hope these boys recover fully.

I also hope that Samui authorities will now do something about this hotel's shoddy balconies. How many more terrible "accidents" will it take before action is taken?

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But how is the one who fell in a pond and broke his femur "fighting for his live"

The femoral artery (and branches of it) and femoral vein run next to to it so it is easily possible to be "life" threatening. But let's hope for the best for the two.

Yes, as you say, a broken femur is often life threatening due to internal bleeding and extreme blood loss.

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I understand that the one who fell on a rock with his head must be in bad shape.

But how is the one who fell in a pond and broke his femur "fighting for his live"

Think about what is NOT stated... the report states that he "ended up" in the pond... no mention of what he may have bounced-off on his way down or indeed even how deep is the pond...

poor buggers... my heart goes out to the mother especially (happy b'day Mum) I pray for their full and speedy recovery, and for justice.

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