Trat man self-immolates at Pattaya temple

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Trat native Peerapong Jirakulratwong died after setting himself on fire next to a crematorium at Sutthawat Temple.
Trat native Peerapong Jirakulratwong died after setting himself on fire next to a crematorium at Sutthawat Temple.

A Trat man died after setting himself on fire at a Pattaya temple.

The remains of Peerapong Jirakulratwong were still smoldering when authorities arrived at Sutthawat Temple shortly after 5 a.m. Oct. 11. Around him they found an empty gasoline jug, a patient card from a Trat hospital, mobile phone and burnt lottery tickets.

Security-camera footage showed Peerapong entering the temple grounds after the gates opened at 5 a.m. and proceeding to the crematorium where he self-immolated.

Peerapong’s mother, Chavee Thammakeeree, 77, and sister, Boonta Petchraingam, 44, met later that day with police and explained that the victim had come to live in Pattaya three months ago after working as a van driver in Trat.

Chavee said he had suffered heart problems related to high blood pressure about two weeks ago and has had problems sleeping since.

She said he left the house early, grumbling about insomnia. But, on the way out, he told his mother, “I pray to be born again as (her) son in the next life”, setting off alarm bells. She called her daughter and tried to find Peerapong, but it was too late.