Probe into cause of 11-year-old girl’s death after she collapsed while running punishment laps at school


POLICE HAVE stepped in to investigate the death of an 11-year-old girl who died hours after she was forced to run several laps around her school’s football field.

The results of the autopsy by Siriraj Hospital, which will be ready within 45 days, will probably be key evidence in the case. 

“At this point, it remains unclear what caused her death,” Metropolitan Police Division 8 commander Pol Maj-General Samrit Tongtao said yesterday. 

 Pattaraporn Watcharamontian, a student at a Bangkok Metropolitan Administration-run school, died on her way to a hospital on January 23. 

Earlier in the day, she and her classmates were ordered to run around the football field several times as punishment for schoolboys’ loud behaviour during physical-education class. Pattaraporn collapsed during the run and she was sent to the nurse’s office at about 11am. 

Her father, Nattapon Watcharamontian, said the school had contacted him at 2.45pm telling him that she was very ill. 

By the time he arrived at the school, Pattaraporn was clearly shivering and panting with her eyes closed. 

“I tried to rush her to a hospital but we got stuck in a traffic jam. Then I flagged down a motorcycle taxi but it was still not in time,” Nattapon said. 

He demanded an explanation from the school, but said he had not received a satisfactory answer. 

He then petitioned the Pavena Foundation for Children and Women. 

“The family wants a clear answer. The father also wonders why the school had not informed him earlier about his daughter’s serious illness,” the foundation director, Pavena Hongsakula, said as she brought Nattapon to a meeting at the Thung Khru Police Station yesterday. 

The Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) has also established a fact-finding committee for the case. 

BMA deputy permanent secretary Pijaya Nagvajara said he had received a report that Pattaraporn had been infected with the influenza B virus. 

“Complications like heart problems or heat stroke might have worsened her symptoms and led to her death,” he said. 

Siriraj Hospital was conducting a detailed autopsy, he added. 

“We will urgently ensure that the family can access remedial actions,” Pijaya said. 



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