Man Slips From Khlong Saen Saep Pier, Drowns (Video)

BANGKOK — A 50-year-old man died this morning after he jumped from a boat pulling up to a pier and fell into the Saen Saep canal during the rush hour commute.

Police named the victim as Teerapong Silalit. A security camera filmed Teerapong leaping from the boat onto the pier near St. Dominic School before the boat came to a complete stop. He slips and falls into the canal, appearing to hit his head against the boat as he enters the water.

Capt. Sema Liamchob of Makkasan Police Station said the boat’s skipper was being questioned to see if he had acted recklessly, but no charges had been filed.

Teerapong’s body was later found by rescue divers at about 10am, said Pairat Boondum, a manager of Krob Krua Kon Song Ltd., the canal taxi service operator.

“The boat didn’t stop yet,” Pairat said, adding that the conductor had yet to tie the boat to the pier. “He thought he could do it, but he lost his balance.”

Once other passengers started shouting that someone had fallen into the water, the boat operator killed the engine and staff searched for Teerapong. He couldn’t be found, Pairat said.

The manager added that the company would “fully compensate” Teerapong’s family for the accident.

The Khlong Saen Saep taxi is used by many passengers as an alternative to the clogged roads of downtown Bangkok, but its reputation is tainted by a record of accidents.

In March, 67 people were injured when one of the boats’ engines exploded at a pier. Police later ruled the accident was caused by a faulty design.