PATTAYA – August 16, 2012 [PDN]; At 3:30 a.m., a report of suicide attempt was received by the rescue officer of the Sawangboribul Pattaya foundation, Chonburi province. The incident occurred at Soi Nong Heang 1 or Soi Samakkee, Moo 8, Tambon Nongplalai, Amphur Banglamung, Chonburi province.
A Thai man had climbed up a high-voltage electric utility pole after arguing with his wife. The rescue officer rushed to the scene with the assisted-equipment car and the Banglamung police.
They discovered that Mr. Wijit Saothong or Nu, age 26, a Pattaya hotel clerk, had climbed up a high-voltage electricity pole nearly 15 stories tall, which had an electric current of 230 kilovolts.
Mr. Wijit was sitting and walking on the steel structure before reaching the top of the pole. He was talking on his mobile phone, apparently unafraid of falling to his death.
Concerned onlookers and rescue officers below were assisting to calm him down. Because it was very dark, they were afraid that Mr. Wijit might accidently electrocute himself, or maybe stumble and fall from the structure. A fall from that height would instantly kill him.
Bystanders told police that Mr. Wijit had a history of drinking liquor until he was severely drunk, and then showed symptoms of neurotic behavior.
The officers beamed a spotlight from the equipment car to illuminate the area around Mr. Wijit, and to calm him down so he would come down from the electric pole.
But he refused, and shouted that he want to die. He told the rescue officer to call his wife to come and see him, and then he will climb down. So the rescue officer made a phone call to his wife to hurry and come to the scene.
So Ms. Renuka Pomsaenphol, the wife of Mr. Wijit, rushed to the scene on her motorbike. When she arrived, she shouted to Mr. Wijit to get down from the electricity pole, because she worried that he might fall down.
During questioning, Ms. Renuka told police that her husband had a neurosis, but he liked to drink liquor, which brought out his neurosis and made him act irrationally.
She said her husband didn’t go to work that day, because he felt stressed that she likes to travel, which he considers too costly. Mr. Wijit is also stressing over their debt of 65,000 THB that they owe for their land. Adding further stress is that her husband is having problems with relatives in his family, she said.
Mrs. Renuka told police that she had intended this morning to bring her husband to see the doctor of neurosis at Phrapokklao hospital, Janthaburi province. But they had to postpone the meeting because the doctor had another appointment.
Prior to this incident, she said her husband had been gone from their house since midnight. But she had assumed he went to see his friend and would return home shortly. Then she got the phone call from the rescue officer that her husband had climbed the high-voltage electric pole.
The rescue officer then let Ms. Renuka use the mobile phone to talk to Mr. Wijit and have him come down from the pole. But Mr. Wijit still refused.
He said that he climbed up to the electricity pole because he was so sad that his wife like to travel outside, and he was stressed with all the problems in his life. Mr. Wijit said he had no money to pay for his debt, and he had a quarrel with his relatives, so he didn’t want to live in this world.
However, after talking for an hour on the phone with his wife, he consented to get down from the electricity pole.
He asked the police not to arrest him, and requested that his wife take him immediately to see the doctor at Phrapokklao hospital because of his stress.
Since Mr. Wijit was still so agitated, the police let his wife bring him back to their house to calm down. They also asked his wife to take close care of her husband until he is able to see the doctor as he wants.