BANGKOK, 24 April 2014 – The Region 1 Police chief has ordered an investigation into the death of Police Senior Sergeant Major Monchai Bunphairot, who died after falling about 15 meters from a helicopter during a mock rescue drill by special force police on Wednesday.
According to Provincial Police Region 1 commissioner Naret Nanthachot, officials have yet to determine whether the accident was caused by equipment malfunction or miscommunication during the drill.
Pol.Sen.Sgt.Maj. Monchai was rehearsing a rescue airlift mission along with other special force policemen at Viphawadi Rangsit traffic police station in Bangkok, when he fell from the helicopter onto the concrete floor below. He was unconscious after the impact, and was taken to Mayo hospital where he died.
According to his colleagues, Pol.Sen.Sgt.Maj. Monchai was well-seasoned in aerial operations.
The incident occurred just weeks after two police cadets plunged to their deaths after their equipment malfunctioned during a parachute training exercise.