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Chiang Mai Retreat Tragedy: Balcony Collapse Injures Health Volunteers at Ban Chang Kham Luang Resort

In the serene early hours of the morning, nestled within the verdant embrace of Ban Chang Kham Luang village, a day that began with the promise of camaraderie and rejuvenation took an unexpected turn. At 7:30 AM, amidst the tranquil settings of a local resort favored by many for its idyllic seclusion, an incident unfolded that would mar the day’s tranquility. Chalit Thipkham, the authoritative voice of the Hang Dong district, recounted the events that led to an unforeseen mishap during what was supposed to be a revitalizing retreat.

The resort had become a temporary abode to a group of dedicated public health volunteers, all hailing from Tambon Ban Ton Pao Hospital in the bustling district of San Khampaeng, Chiang Mai. These valiant women, numbering forty-five in total, had embarked on this retreat, seeking a brief respite from their noble duties. The retreat was meant to be a pause, a momentary breath away from their relentless commitment to public health.

Following an enriching session in the resort’s meeting room, filled with discussions likely infused with hope and strategies for better community health, the volunteers stepped out, drawn by the picturesque surroundings. They congregated on the balcony, a spot that promised a beautiful backdrop for their collective memories, captured in photographs. However, what was meant to be a moment of joyous camaraderie turned into a harrowing ordeal as the balcony, unable to bear the weight of collective aspirations, gave way, collapsing onto the unforgiving ground below.

This tragic occurrence resulted in numerous injuries among these bastions of community health. Two volunteers bore the brunt of this calamity; one was besieged by a grievous leg injury, her dreams grounded by a broken left leg, while another was left to battle the consequences of a severe head injury. These two were promptly ushered into the care of Klai Mor Hospital, their conditions a stark reminder of the day’s grim twist.

An additional ten souls, though luckier, were not left unscathed. They suffered minor injuries but were fortunate to have their wounds tended to, allowing them to leave Hang Dong Hospital with tales of a retreat that veered off course.

Chalit Thipkham shed light on a contributing factor to this distressing event. The resort, while initially constructed in adherence to legal requisites, had later seen the addition of the ill-fated balcony without the sanction of authorities. This oversight, a deviation from the original blueprint, became the nucleus of the day’s sorrow.

The owner of the resort now faces the specter of legal reprimand, with charges for the unlawful modification of the building looming over the horizon. This incident, a sobering interlude amidst the sanctuary of Ban Chang Kham Luang village, serves as a poignant reminder of the imperatives of safety and the unpredictable nature of life’s journey.

As the Hang Dong district reconciles with the aftermath, the essence of the community – spirit, resilience, and unity – is expected to rise, much like the morning sun that bore witness to the day’s unforeseen events, reminding all of the strength found in togetherness, even in times of trial.


  1. Grace_L February 4, 2024

    This is so sad. Those volunteers work tirelessly for the community’s health, and to have their retreat end like this is heartbreaking. Shows the importance of regular safety checks.

    • MarkT February 4, 2024

      Absolutely, but let’s not forget the resort owner’s responsibility here. It’s infuriating that the additional constructions were unapproved. How many more ‘shortcuts’ are endangering lives?

      • MountainHiker24 February 4, 2024

        Good point, but isn’t this also a failure of inspection and enforcement by local authorities? The resort shouldn’t have gotten away with unauthorized construction.

      • Grace_L February 4, 2024

        Agree with both. It’s a layered issue. Enforcement, owner responsibility, and perhaps even accountability for those who knew about the balcony but said nothing.

    • Lilypad2023 February 4, 2024

      Thoughts and prayers for all affected. But we must seek change, not just offer condolences. How do we make sure this never happens again?

      • PolicyWonk877 February 4, 2024

        Strict penalties for safety violations and better funding for inspection agencies could be a start. Public safety should be non-negotiable.

  2. TechBro44 February 4, 2024

    Why is it always after the tragedy strikes that people start looking into safety? This proactive approach should be a norm, not an afterthought.

    • EcoMama February 4, 2024

      Because, sadly, it’s human nature and business practice. Cut corners, save money, and ignore risks until forced to do otherwise.

      • TechBro44 February 4, 2024

        Exactly! It’s all about profits over people until something bad happens. Then it’s about ‘thoughts and prayers’. The cycle is exhausting and predictable.

  3. HistoryBuff1912 February 4, 2024

    We keep hearing about tragedies like this. When will it end? Buildings need to be safe for everyone, everywhere.

    • SkepticalCitizen February 4, 2024

      It ends when accountability is taken seriously. Owners, authorities, everyone involved needs to step it up.

      • HistoryBuff1912 February 4, 2024

        Precisely, and history shows us that change often only comes after disaster. Let’s hope this serves as a wake-up call.

  4. FutureEngineer90 February 4, 2024

    Engineering student here. This incident underscores the critical need for adhering to architectural standards and regulations. Safety should never be compromised.

    • NoviceDIYer February 4, 2024

      True, but education on why these standards exist seems lacking. People often see regulations as unnecessary hurdles rather than protections.

      • FutureEngineer90 February 4, 2024

        Good point. There’s a gap in understanding the ‘why’ behind these rules. More education could lead to better compliance and safer structures.

  5. WanderlustGal February 4, 2024

    I’ve stayed at this resort before. While it was beautiful, I remember thinking some parts didn’t look very sturdy. Now I’m wondering about the other places I’ve visited and taken for granted that they were safe.

  6. JusticeSeeker February 4, 2024

    The owner must face consequences. This is about justice for those harmed due to their negligence. I hope the legal system doesn’t fail the victims.

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