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Cave explorer killed by carbon dioxide - July 2021

On Saturday 17 July 2021 Piyawee Tharasombat was killed by the high level of carbon dioxide in Tham Luuk. The cave is near Mu Si, Pak Chong district, Nakhon Ratchasima province. Local rescue services used breathing apparatus to recover the body of the 41-year old, which was found only 11 m from the bottom of the 5 m entrance ladder.

The cave is known for its bad air. On a visit in September 2017 Chaiporn Siripornpibul was unable to descend more than 3 m down the entrance shaft, with a cigarette lighter not working at this point due to the high carbon dioxide.

Foreign cave exploration in Thailand

Foreign cave exploration in Thailand

Introduction

Many of the early travelers to Thailand mentioned caves and limestone hills in their journals. John Crawfurd mentions caves on Ko Si Chang (Chonburi) in 1821 (Crawfurd 1828) while Captain James Low recorded a bird’s-nest cave at Hat Chao Mai in Trang in 1826 (Low 1833). Being close to Bangkok Tham Khao Luang in Phetchaburi was visited frequently by 19th century European travelers with one of the earliest visitors being Robert Schomburgk in May 1860  (Schomburgk 1861).

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