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Govt to provide compensation for victims of mass shooting

Public disaster fund for victim aid to disburse Bt37 million next week

Victims of last weekend’s mass shooting in Korat, which saw 30 killed and another 58 injured, are to receive compensation from the Thai government’s public disaster fund for victim aid. Bt1 million will be paid to the families of each of the 27 deceased,  Bt200,000 to each of the 29 seriously wounded victims and up to Bt100,000 to each of the other 29 who suffered injuries. .

The incident resulted in 30 deaths but the payment only covers 27 people. Excluded are the 32-year-old gunman who was shot by police and his first two victims – a supervisor and a woman relative – which he killed over a land deal dispute at their home in Muang district and for which the criminal investigation is proceeding.

Photo Credit: www.facebook.com/ThaigovSpokesman

Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wisanu Krua-ngam told the Thai Khu Fa’s Government Weekly show which aired on Friday afternoon (February 14) said that this fund’s compensation, which he described as being provided in a special manner, was  in addition to the financial assistance given to the victims from other sources such as the Nakhon Ratchasima’s donation fund, state agency welfare (for four police officers and one army private killed in the line of duty), the Justice Ministry’s aid for victims of crime, insurance money or the Social Security Office’s compensation to the affected members, he noted.

The medical expenses of the 58 injured  were being covered by the Public Health Ministry. The Terminal 21 mall’s property damage which is said to be around Bt10 million as well as damages to cars and shops would also be covered by insurance, he added.

Wisanu said the public disaster victim aid fund would be paying especially high compensations in this case because the mass shooting was committed by a state officer using state-owned weapons and this incident had severely shaken society. Similarly high compensation was paid to victims of the devastating Erawan Shrine bombing in 2015.

Ministers Wisanu and Thewan presided over a meeting on Thursday at Government House to discuss aid to the Korat mass shooting victims.

Prime Minister’s Office Minister Thewan Liptapanlop separately told reporters at the Government House that the compensation would total Bt37 million –  Bt27 million for 27 deceased victims and Bt10 million for the wounded victims. The Bt37 million would be sent to Nakhon Ratchasima on February 17 and the provincial governor would manage the payments. Victims could expect the compensation to be paid  by February 18, according to Thewan.

Meanwhile, Nakhon Ratchasima governor Wichien Chantharanothai announced on Friday that the province’s fund-raising efforts  had seen donations pouring in from all corners of Thailand and the total had reached Bt68 million as of 8am Friday. Thanking kind-hearted donors, he said that Bt10 million had already been paid to the families of the deceased and wounded victims, leaving Bt58 million in the account, which would be closed on February 16 at 4pm.

This fund-raising account committee on Friday agreed that the families of 27 people who were killed and those seriously wounded and permanently disabled would receive Bt1 million compensation per head while those injured would get Bt30,000-Bt300,000 depending on severity of their injuries, Wichien said.

Wichien said the families of 27 deceased victims would be given an additional Bt700,000 per death this afternoon and this combined with the Bt300,000 compensation already paid, would bring the total to Bt1 million.

A rogue soldier shot dead his supervisor and a woman relative on Saturday afternoon and went on to steal guns and ammunition from Surathampitak military camp’s armory. He then went on a shooting spree from the camp, stopping at a local temple before going to Terminal 21 Korat shopping center.

Photo Credit: Ministry of Public Health

Meanwhile, the Department of Mental Health has set up a temporary clinic called “Morjai Paksanam” (mental heath doctors in the field) at Terminal 21 Korat mall, which resumed operations for the second day on Friday. The temporary clinic, which is manned by psychiatrists, psychologists, social welfare officials, nurses and pharmacists and located on the ground floor of the mall, is initially slated to operate for two weeks, while the Nakhon Ratchasima Psychiatric Hospital has prepared 20 patient beds to support those requesting special clinical attention, Department Director-General Dr Kiattiphum Wongrajit said.

In the six days since the mass shooting, the Mental Health Crisis Assessment and Treatment Team (MCATT) officials has identified 274 people, especially the wounded and relatives of the deceased victims, suffering from stress and depression over this traumatic incident, he said. The 274 people accounted for 13.09 per cent of the 2,093 people who were directly or indirectly by the incident, he added.

The department also would join with all tambon-level health promotion hospitals and village health volunteers to scan communities for those suffering mental issues after this traumatic incident, he added.

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