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German Tourist Fatally Injured After Falling From Elephant's Back


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Quite outrageous how they are doing everything they can to divert the blame.

Unfortunately this is par for the course in Thailand with everything from a serious accident to the most minor complaint about your hotel room.........they will NEVER accept the blame so long as the law cannot enforce fair trading and responsibilities of the trader.

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They did say that the husband felon her, but on the 'facts' as presented, if she hadn't lunged at him in panic, they may not have fallen. Just the seat coming loose and turning doesn't indicate negligence causing death, negligence causing panic, perhaps. We don't know much about this very sad incident, but if the husband was, say, 250 lbs, then it's very likely he contributed. I think all the speculation and bashing of all things Thai is unhelpful at best, and xenophobic and paranoid at worst.

You are completely at odds with common sense on this - I really don't know why you bothered to post - OF COURSE it is the responsibility of the owners to ensure the safety of the customers - trying to blame "panic" is just contemptible.

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Should be 'fell on her'. The iPod does some strange editing.

Pomthai, the seat turning would only be seen as the cause if it turned sufficiently to toss them out and on the 'facts' as presented, she caused the fall. I'll say it again though, and that is this is no more than a report, and could be wildly different from shat actually happened.

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Cowslip, from a legal position, that is the way it would be represented and seen. I'm not making accusations nor attempting to appear 'contemptible' just adding another perspective. Personally, I believe that incident has possibly not been reported accurately.

For the record, courts don't rely on what is seen by the punters as 'common sense', the least common of the senses, incidentally.

I agree that it is the responsibility of operators to ensure safety of customers, but if the seat turned only, say, 20 degrees, not enough to throw them off, what happened next did contribute. If it turned 180 degrees, then it probably was the cause.

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This is how it really happened:

The seat moved slightly due to the rough terrain, what made the husband bouncing and his wife believing he could fall out.

What follows is a typical overreaction of especially western female tourists, when the wife jump to hold her husband.

As a result of the uneven weight ratio the seat tilt slightly more but was still save connected to the elephants back.

Finally the husband is believed to be catapulted out of the seat by his on him jumping histeriacal wife.

Due to the better moment the wife managed to pass the husband and landed safely on the forest ground.

Unfortunately the overweight husband could not controll his fall and crushed his wife what caused seroius injury.

What follows is a recommendation of the tourism board:

Histeriacal wifes can cost lifes! The thai tourism board has made precautions especially for the single travelling men to take care your needs.

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Cowslip, from a legal position, that is the way it would be represented and seen. I'm not making accusations nor attempting to appear 'contemptible' just adding another perspective. Personally, I believe that incident has possibly not been reported accurately.

For the record, courts don't rely on what is seen by the punters as 'common sense', the least common of the senses, incidentally.

I agree that it is the responsibility of operators to ensure safety of customers, but if the seat turned only, say, 20 degrees, not enough to throw them off, what happened next did contribute. If it turned 180 degrees, then it probably was the cause.

20 degrees would definatly make me shit my pants. Not so sure I'd fall off but I'd most certainly want to get off. A lot of what happens next could be from the elephants side. I'd bet if the seat shifted 20 degrees the elephant would probably panic a little as well. Not that I'd blame the creature either. Perhaps some seat belts might have helped avoid this tragedy.

It is sad that in Thailand everything is done on the cheap to maximize profitability. Little if no regard is placed on safety. Only when an accident occurs is 'possibly' something done to correct things. I'm talking about such things as blocking or locking fire exit doors, zebra or pelican crossings that everybody ignores, sale of fireworks to young kids....the list goes on and on.....

Edited by KKK
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Yes, Thai immigrants to countries like Australia can feel accepted and at home. Maybe not by everybody but in general and definitely by the state institutions that don't discriminate by "the order of the state". They can get PR status that almost equals them with Australians and if they wish the citizenship process is easy and almost automatic after few years of stay. They can get payments from the public coffers. Even overseas Thai can purchase property in Australia in their own names. No such luck for foreigners in here. No matter how hard some of them are trying they are forever stigmatized as Farang. I'm been here 5 years, invested all my money here, run a business employing Thais and I still have absolutely no rights to my investments. I have to ask for visa extensions every year and there is no certainty they will be issued. When I queue up for something the Thais are served first. When I'm with a Thai person and pay for something the change always is being handed back to the Thai. I hear and see many insensitive comments like the one by the police in this case. Yes, it's true that it's "always a Farang fault" when there is a conflict between foreigner and Thai. Stigmatizing, intolerance, xenophobia and racism can be a problem in the West but are rampant here and the evil sometimes is in the degree of the wrong-doing.

Wow.....I'm not gonna say you're wrong..but you do seem to be having a hard time living with it......

Coming back to this case, foreigners should abandon their romantic idea of "elephant rides" as part of their tourist adventure. Just look at these animals and see how poorly they are treated and how miserable they are. Don't support businesses that engage into this practice. And remember .. when in Thailand you are on your own when it comes to looking after your safety so exercise higher than usually degree of caution. Especially when hiring some service, please watch out for signs of dishonesty and lack of safety. And please remember that if you pay very little for something you are most likely to get bad quality. Often much worse than in your home country. So, don't be stingy.

That's all very well and if we followed your advice we wouldn't come or would just stay in our hotel rooms once here. We are enticed by the TAT a government department to visit Thailand, spend our hard earned money to have the "most amazing & miraculous time of our lives" only to find that our lives are placed at risk by the appalling safety standards of some unscroupulous tour company. If they want us here...and it seems they do.....then they should treat us with dignity and respect and do their utmost to ensure we return to our countries safely. Accidents will always happen but a lot could be avoided if the same amount of attention was made to safety as it is to the almighty baht....

Edited by KKK
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Cowslip, from a legal position, that is the way it would be represented and seen. I'm not making accusations nor attempting to appear 'contemptible' just adding another perspective. Personally, I believe that incident has possibly not been reported accurately.

For the record, courts don't rely on what is seen by the punters as 'common sense', the least common of the senses, incidentally.

I agree that it is the responsibility of operators to ensure safety of customers, but if the seat turned only, say, 20 degrees, not enough to throw them off, what happened next did contribute. If it turned 180 degrees, then it probably was the cause.

Now your just talking rot. "legal position my A,,,,!

Get real - you are trying without any basis to say that so ma y degrees is dangerous and less is not.....you've got to be kidding!

Edited by cowslip
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This is how it really happened:

The seat moved slightly due to the rough terrain, what made the husband bouncing and his wife believing he could fall out.

What follows is a typical overreaction of especially western female tourists, when the wife jump to hold her husband.

As a result of the uneven weight ratio the seat tilt slightly more but was still save connected to the elephants back.

Finally the husband is believed to be catapulted out of the seat by his on him jumping histeriacal wife.

Due to the better moment the wife managed to pass the husband and landed safely on the forest ground.

Unfortunately the overweight husband could not controll his fall and crushed his wife what caused seroius injury.

What follows is a recommendation of the tourism board:

Histeriacal wifes can cost lifes! The thai tourism board has made precautions especially for the single travelling men to take care your needs.

"What follows is a typical overreaction of especially western female tourists,"

Really????

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This is how it really happened:

The seat moved slightly due to the rough terrain, what made the husband bouncing and his wife believing he could fall out.

What follows is a typical overreaction of especially western female tourists, when the wife jump to hold her husband.

As a result of the uneven weight ratio the seat tilt slightly more but was still save connected to the elephants back.

Finally the husband is believed to be catapulted out of the seat by his on him jumping histeriacal wife.

Due to the better moment the wife managed to pass the husband and landed safely on the forest ground.

Unfortunately the overweight husband could not controll his fall and crushed his wife what caused seroius injury.

What follows is a recommendation of the tourism board:

Histeriacal wifes can cost lifes! The thai tourism board has made precautions especially for the single travelling men to take care your needs.

"

Really???? so the operator didn't notice the man was too "overweight" and the woman - "being a woman" would panic.

What kind of people precisely would you recommend could go one an elephant?

Edited by cowslip
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If a Thai died in an accident similar to this in the west he or she would sue us for every dollar they could get. In Thailand there will be no accountability. The Thai owner is living in Singapore or Hong kong and not available for comment... Case closed... Dead farangs family will have to pay morgue fees as well before its released to Thai air cargo....more money !! Thanks farang.

Why do people on this always have to be so quick to bash? Its frankly pathetic and xenophobic.

I guess these are the poeple that in their home country, complain that the 'immigrants' do not mix with locals and become part of the community.

Unfortunately Thailand is full of these selfrightous "know it all" farangs. Grow up!

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Cowslip, I am not saying 20 degrees, or any figure, is safe and more is not. What I am saying is that on the 'facts' as reported, the wife lunged at the husband and the both went over the side as a consequence. I'm not being dogmatic about the position as you are. I do have some knowledge of how the law works, having studied law at university for three years before going flying for a living. That was 30+ years ago but principles of law don't change. What I am saying is that because the seat moved, that does not, in itself, dictate how the poor woman met her end. Even a not very smart barrister would punch holes in that proposition in the first five minutes.

I am not suggesting, as you are the opposite, that I am right and you are wrong, but I don't think any claim for compensation would be likely to get very far, even in a western country.

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I would not recommend anyone to take an elephant ride; for the sake of both the rider and elephant. Responding to this article is like responding to a hypothetical. Who described the event? Did the distraught husband say he landed on his wife killing her; or was it the mahout, the police in their report or a fabrication of the (usually unreliable) reporter? We are living in a third world country, not a developing country. Double pricing was the norm when I lived on the other side of the world in Guatemala, just as it is here. Robberies were common there as well as rapes and violence. Additionally, service was crappy in restaurants unless you paid a fortune and with a little bribery things went smoother and I was not ticketed. Life was also a little easier if you spoke Spanish, as I did. I am assuming my life in this third world country will get easier as my Thai develops. The enlightenment of western civilization has not engulfed Thailand or other similar countries. That, in my opinion, is why third world countries are labeled as such. Don't expect western standards of conduct or reason. Always put your wallet in your front pocket.

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No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...

Seconded. Did they really blame the husband?

The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.

Amazing Thailand yet again.

RIP and condolences.

The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. You lot are too paranoid.

No not being Paranoid, they are just realists.

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Sad story. It is especially tragic when you hear of accidents when people are on holiday. I expect the seat should not have tilted had it been fastened properly.

I agree! But why do I get this feeling in my gut that both of these people were very much overweight?

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but I don't think any claim for compensation would be likely to get very far, even in a western country.

I'm not so sure your correct there with regard to a western country. There would have been insurance, insurance would have paid out and then increased premiums the following year. It is highly unlikely for the case to ever get to court.

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The sooner they release these poor unfortunate animals back to the provinces the better. I abhor the sight of a regal animal like an elephant being paraded around urban areas for sport and/or commerce.

My condolences to the family of this unfortunate woman whose death was totally avoidable.

Another sick episode in a very sick country.

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Sad story. It is especially tragic when you hear of accidents when people are on holiday. I expect the seat should not have tilted had it been fastened properly.

I agree! But why do I get this feeling in my gut that both of these people were very much overweight?

I would say you're probably correct...90% of all Farang tourists middle aged or more must be overweight. The tour operator and mahout could have seen the same thing and perhaps said "no, you're too heavy" They didn't, they let them on board. And as such surely have to take some responsibility.

I've been remembering what it was like on my one elephant ride in Nepal. 4 on the elephant. 2 on either side looking sideways not to the front. You slid your legs under a bar that was part of the seat structure. That bar ended up at about belly button level . You held onto the bar to steady yourself as the elephant swayed from side to side as it walked. Thinking about it it would have been quite hard to fall out. 4 may seem quite a lot for one elephant but I and my companions at that time weighed no more than 50kg each with me "The Farang" being the heavyest.

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why do people get on them bleeding beasts there bet stupid by there owners and go mad seen it happen b4 but luckey no one hurt mabey happens once a week but you dont hear about it, elephant's should be insured and if an accident happens make them pay,or the real real world should ban travel to that country or what ever country it is,my words ,rip.

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Some good points there Kirk, and a point I've been laboring from the start. We make the assumption that the OP is telling exactly as it happened and that may not be the case. I still believe that based on the 'facts' as presented, there would be little chance of a claim for compensation wouldn't get to first base even in a nanny state like Australia where people are now so litigious, and constantly looking for someone to blame for their own stupidity

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My condolences to the family and friends of the victim. I think we should wait for a medical examiner to determine the cause of death. Not the police.

I would also like to caution posters that very often family members search the internet for information.

Please exercise sensitivity in what we say.

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The man's weight may have had some affect on the woman's injuries. Without any reporting on this fact, we can only imagine. Nonetheless, a large percentage of farang tourists are overweight. Having put in my comments, now I send my condolences to the man and their family. I can't imagine the grief the husband must feel to be the cause of his wife's death.

What a load of b*llocks. I guess that's settled then. The headline should have read 'Fat German fell on his wife and killed her'. Blame McDonalds... case closed.

Thailand will have many more tragedies because causing harm by gross negligence usually goes unpunished. I don't know if the straps or whatever that held the seat were properly fastened or in good condition, or properly designed and fit for purpose. I can only surmise that they fell short in at least one of these areas. That is what probably caused this tragic death, not an accident, and don't blame the guy for being overweight.

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The man's weight may have had some affect on the woman's injuries. Without any reporting on this fact, we can only imagine. Nonetheless, a large percentage of farang tourists are overweight. Having put in my comments, now I send my condolences to the man and their family. I can't imagine the grief the husband must feel to be the cause of his wife's death.

What a load of b*llocks. I guess that's settled then. The headline should have read 'Fat German fell on his wife and killed her'. Blame McDonalds... case closed.

Thailand will have many more tragedies because causing harm by gross negligence usually goes unpunished. I don't know if the straps or whatever that held the seat were properly fastened or in good condition, or properly designed and fit for purpose. I can only surmise that they fell short in at least one of these areas. That is what probably caused this tragic death, not an accident, and don't blame the guy for being overweight.

how high is a wardrobe?

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Cowslip, I am not saying 20 degrees, or any figure, is safe and more is not. What I am saying is that on the 'facts' as reported, the wife lunged at the husband and the both went over the side as a consequence. I'm not being dogmatic about the position as you are. I do have some knowledge of how the law works, having studied law at university for three years before going flying for a living. That was 30+ years ago but principles of law don't change. What I am saying is that because the seat moved, that does not, in itself, dictate how the poor woman met her end. Even a not very smart barrister would punch holes in that proposition in the first five minutes.

I am not suggesting, as you are the opposite, that I am right and you are wrong, but I don't think any claim for compensation would be likely to get very far, even in a western country.

You are obviously far too uncritical when it comes to reading the media - there is no "report" as yet. Your ideas are based on mistaken assumptions...and it would see you either haven't read or don't understand my posts.

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No, what caused the accident was a poorly fastened seating...

Seconded. Did they really blame the husband?

The re-assignment of blame and in-ability to take any responsibility here whatsoever knows no bounds.

Amazing Thailand yet again.

RIP and condolences.

The report doesn't apportion blame; it just states what happened. You lot are too paranoid.

No not being Paranoid, they are just realists.

There is no "report" its just the papers....and if you can't appreciate how the article is trying to apportion blame on the victim then you don't know how to read and draw inferences.......one of the most fundamental skills in reading.

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From a retired judge, cause and effect, poorly fastened seating cause, effect death. Poorly regulated and trained tourist staff, cause, effect death. The husband was a victim as well as the deceased. Is very sad, not a word about preventing future falls. Condolences to him and family for their loss.

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If you don't like it here, why don't you move to another country ?

Don't let the door hit you on the way out!

As ever the ultimate facile answer - there;s always one on every thread!

from 'cowslip' to 'elephantslip' !

:blink:

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