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The Phuket Bungy Jump in Chalong where two people died during a pre-opening test had been approved to be built, but the owners had not asked for permission to operate, Chalong Mayor Samran Jindapon says.
Mr Samran led a team to investigate the accident site yesterday, and said the owners had been given approval to build a 12-metre-high structure, but had not been given permission to operate the bungy.
Instead, the structure which the men fell from was 52 metres high. Chalong Municipality have ordered a stop to operations from the site as investigations continue. Mr Samran said a permit for the company was issued on January 21, giving them permission to build a 12-metre-high building. But no one had handed him any documents asking for permission to use the building, Mr Samran said.
“The municipality did inform the company that the building is in a “green region”, so they can build buildings that are maximum 12-metres high,” Mr Samran said. “The company decided to open the place for business before asking for a permission to use it. From the probe, the problem of the company is that they have a bungy jump building that is higher than 12 metres [the legal heigh as stated in the permit] – the building is 52 meters high.”
The Bangkok Post reported that Tossaporn Suksri, 27, and Pitakchai Wongsricha, 28, were found dead with broken necks, legs and arms in a bungy cage after its slings broke at 8.30pm on Friday. Anupong Kantawong, 37, was injured and taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital in a coma.
All three worked for a company that was preparing to open the bungy-jumping attraction to the public. The company had held a religious ceremony in the morning to mark the opening of the business. Afterward, it tested the system four times by putting sandbags weighing 75 kilogrammes into the cage and dropping it from the tower, the Post reported.
Mr Tossaporn, a partner in the business, and Mr Pitakchai, a maintenance staff member, then volunteered to test the cage. Mr Anupong agreed to test jumping from a tower.
The three went to the top of the 52-metre tower where Mr Anupong, with cords attached to his legs, prepared to jump into a nearby pool while Mr Tossaporn and Mr Pitakchai sat strapped into the cage.
After Mr Anupong jumped, the cage slid up and down on its slings a few times before they gave way, sending the car to the ground, killing Mr Tossaporn and Mr Pitakchai instantly.
Mr Anupong fell into the water and then taken to hospital.
Investigations are continuing.
Editors note – the Samui Times would like to point out that the Phuket Bungy Jump in Chalong in has no connection whatsoever with the Samui Bungy Jump who have an impeccable safety record and have sent their condolences to those connected with this incident.
Phuket News with additional reporting Bangkok Post