An unidentified foreign man climbed Phuket’s most famous temple this evening. He was threatening to jump from a pagoda for several hours and finally jumped after trying to fight rescuers atop the temple.
The Chalong Police were notified of the incident at 5:20 P.M. on Friday (July 7th) at the Chalong Temple (Chaithararam Temple) in Chalong which is the most famous temple in Phuket.
Police, rescue workers, and the Phuket Express arrived at a pagoda inside the temple to find the male foreigner on top of the pagoda which is about six stories high off the ground.
A ladder was being used to let the foreigner climb down but he refused. A large air mattress has also been placed on the ground.
The Phuket Governor Naroong Woonciew later arrived at the scene and along with police were trying to negotiate with the foreigner.
At 8:40 P.M. the foreigner jumped down onto the air mattress below. He was provided CPR. The jump came while the man was struggling and fighting rescue workers and law enforcement trying to pull the man safely off the pagoda.
Local residents were outraged due to the sacredness of the temple and police were trying to control the hectic scene and keep residents from getting to the injured man who was taken to a hospital under heavy police presence for his safety due to angry local residents pledging to follow the man to the hospital.
At 10:30 P.M. he has been pronounced dead at the Vachira Phuket Hospital. The Phuket Tourist Assistance Center (TAC) reported he is a Russian, 35, and will proceed to contacting his next-of-kin and embassy.
This is a developing story.
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