US team plans tough operation to pull up mangled car

AFTER successfully completing a difficult operation to recover the bodies of two Thai students from their car which had plunged down a cliff at Kings Canyon National Park and was stuck in the middle of a raging river for over a month the American team plans a first ever retrieval of their car from this tough terrain soon, Thai News Agency said today (Sept. 2).

Busadee Santipitak, a spokeswoman of Foreign Ministry, said the American team that retrieved the remains of the two Thai students who died on July 26 after their car plunged down a steep cliff into Kings River below spend 12 hours doing so and had practiced nearby the accident spot to ensure all went smoothly.

Capture dead

She added that the rescuers had so far retrieved the bodies but will be pulling the mangled car up too later with this being because of the difficulty of such a mission.

Fresco Country officials said this would be the first time a vehicle is being brought up from Kings Canyon.

Thai Consulate-General in Los Angeles said in a Facebook post that the operation was mounted by a 55-member team from a Caltrans unit, California Department of State Highway, and volunteers.

Dead students

The rescuers were sent down from a helicopter from the cliff top to get the bodies from the car and used over a 100-foot long dragging device and wire rope  to attach to the car which was then pulled to the side of the river and the bodies removed.

After that the bodies were taken by a helicopter for a religious ceremony near the site of the fatal accident and then sent to a forensic institute for identification and determining how they died with this taking a week and after that their families could take them for further religious ceremonies.


Top: The difficult operation to recover the bodies of the two dead Thai students underway at Kings Canyon. Photo: Thai News Agency

First inset: Thiwadee Saengsuriyarit, 24, and Pakapol Chairatnathrongporn, 28, both exchange students from Thailand. Photo: Fresno County Sheriff’s Office via AP and CBS News

Second inset: A Buddhist monk prays for the two dead Thai students near the accident site. Photo: Thai News Agency




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