US visas sought for Thai rescue workers to retrieve bodies of two Thai students

A close relative of the two Thai students, who died when their car plunged into a steep ravine in a national park in California, planned to bring Thai rescue workers to the US to help retrieve the bodies of the two victims.

Ekkachai Thaidecha, uncle of Mr Pakapol Chairattanasongporn, one of the two dead victims, said Thursday (Aug 10) that he told US embassy officials that since US officials were unable to retrieve the damaged car and the two bodies inside the vehicle, he offered to do the job by bringing with him two Thai rescue workers to the US at his own expenses.

He said he was told by embassy officials that if there is no permission from the US officials concerned, the two Thai rescue workers that he intended to take with him to the US could not do anything.

However Mr Ekkachai said he asked the embassy officials to inquire the officials concerned in California whether they would agree to allow the Thai rescue workers to retrieve the two victims from the ravine and to give him the answer quickly.

The two students at South Florida University, Mr Pakapol and Ms Thivadee Saengsuriyarith, died when their rented car ploughed through a railing and plunged into the ravine at King Canyon national park on July 26.

So far, both the car and the two bodies have not been plucked out of the ravine.