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Khon Kaen rallies around family of girl who died in locked pickup


Khon Kaen Governor Somsak Jangtrakul has offered aid and grief counselling to the family of five-year-old Kabinta “Nong Yam” Kehphuang, who died on Monday after being inadvertently left inside a locked pickup truck in sweltering heat for eight hours.

 

Somsak said the Tambon Huai Moung Administrative Organisation, which supervises the school in Phupha Man district that Kabinta attended and outside of which she died, had offered to sponsor four days of funeral rites and the cremation.

Representatives of the Khon Kaen Social Development and Human Security Office visited the family and gave them Bt2,000 in initial assistance.

More financial aid is forthcoming, including Bt20,000 from the Department of Older Persons, since Kabinta lived with her 70-year-old grandmother, Phetch Noikaew.

The district office has also appealed for public donations for the family.

The girl’s death – the eighth such fatality since 2012 – prompted her teacher, Phichitra Sudtana, 32, to seek treatment for shock at Khon Kaen Rajanagarindra Psychiatric Hospital.

Phichitra was charged with recklessness resulting in another person’s death and released on bail. Her failure to realise that Kabinta had been left in the pickup truck is being blamed in part on school understaffing.

Governor Somsak ordered administrative organisations in 26 districts to ensure there were more than 1,000 teachers or staff members at their 396 kindergartens, and that they were checking more frequently on the 19,000 pupils registered.

The order extends to some 1,000 schools elsewhere in the province.

Somsak said school directors would soon be assembled to discuss further measures, possibly including the introduction of bar-coded student ID cards that would track their arrival at and departure from school and notice any missing pupils.

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