Thai crush victim’s body brought home

fond memories: A picture of Natthicha 'Khru Bam' Makaew, who was killed in the crowd crush in Itaewon, Seoul.
fond memories: A picture of Natthicha ‘Khru Bam’ Makaew, who was killed in the crowd crush in Itaewon, Seoul.

Phetchabun: The body of the Thai woman who was killed in the Seoul Halloween crush tragedy arrived in Lom Sak district of her home province in the North yesterday.

The body of Natthicha Makaew, or Khru Bam, a 27-year-old South Korean language teacher, arrived at Suvarnabhumi airport on Friday night. Her father, Sakhon Makaew, and her relatives came to take her body to Phetchabun.

Mr Sakhon, 67, said he could not come to terms with the loss of his only daughter. He never thought that the day he travelled to Suvarnabhumi airport to send her off to work in South Korea would be the last time he saw her.

Mr Sakhon said he would take his daughter’s body to Wat Pak Huai Khon Kaen in tambon Nong Khwai, Lom Sak district, for funeral rites for five nights. The cremation will be held at the temple, about 1 kilometre from their house, on Nov 10.

Nha Makaew, 64, Natthicha’s mother, burst into tears and almost fainted when she saw the coffin and relatives had to give her first aid.

Natthicha was one of the 156 people who died when a huge crowd celebrating Halloween surged into an alley in Itaewon, a nightlife district of Seoul, on Oct 29.

Following the tragedy, the South Korean government declared Itaewon a special disaster area to give authorities full access and grant financial support to the families of the victims.

South Korea’s ambassador to Thailand, Moon Seoung-hyun, led embassy officials to receive Natthicha’s body at the airport and expressed condolences to Mr Sakhon for the loss. The envoy will host the funeral rites the night before the cremation.