Seven people, including four children, tragically lost their lives on Monday, May 22, when severe storm winds collapsed a metal roof at a school sports field.
The incident occurred at Wat Nern Por primary school in Phichit province in Thailand, nearly 185 miles north of Bangkok. The young victims, aged between six and 13, were among those seeking refuge from the rain under the sports field’s open-sided structure when the roof caved in due to the storm’s intense winds.
Official reports from the provincial public relations office detail that two parents and a janitor also died in the incident, with an additional 18 individuals suffering injuries and taken to the hospital. The youngest casualty, a six-year-old boy, succumbed to his injuries late Monday at a local hospital.
The deceased were identified as four schoolboys, two parents, and a school janitor by Patcharin Siri, an employee of the provincial Public Relations Department. Social media posts from the local public relations office show the aftermath of the collapse, revealing a chaotic mix of twisted metal, poles, and corrugated iron across the site.
Open-sided roof structures are a common sight at Thai schools, typically providing respite from the region’s potent tropical sun. This tragedy coincides with the country’s monsoon onset, which promises widespread heavy rainfall in the coming days.
Thailand’s building safety standards have come under scrutiny following the incident, particularly as the country often experiences building collapses. The tragedy follows the recent Cyclone Mocha in neighboring Myanmar, which took 145 lives.