Published on Monday, October 26, 2015

Thai zipwire operator arrested after tourist death


The operator of a zipwire ride in a popular Thai holiday resort has been arrested following the death of a tourist last week.

Company owner Santi Pitikarm was arrested after the zipwire was found to be

encroaching on the Mae Rim National Reserve Forest in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand.

Officials from the district police and the Forest Prevention and Reservation Unit said he was also operating the business without a valid permit.

The inspection was sparked by the death of Chinese tourist Wang Qi, 32, who fell to her death on October 11.

The incident had become a major news story in the Chinese media and led to tourism minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul and Chao Siewliengfrom from the Chinese consulate in Chaing Mai participating in a public hearing concerning safety.

The minister said all zipwire and adventure tourism operators in the country will undergo strict inspections.

Chiang Mai has 14 zipwire rides with several others also believed to encroach on national reserve land.

Kobkarn said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had authorised a compensation payout to Wang's family.

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