A POLICEMAN who is part of a large team hunting for a prisoner who escaped from a hospital in Nakhon Si Thammarat on Oct. 22 and has been hiding in the jungles of Banthad mountains in Trang province got badly injured after being stung by paper wasps, TV Channel 7 said this evening (Oct. 22).
Around 400 policemen from various units are hunting for Mr. Chaowalit Thongduang, or Sia Pang Nanode, in the thick forest which is difficult to traverse.
A helicopter urgently flew the injured officer, a Border Patrol policeman from Naresuan Camp in Phetchaburi province, to Tamot Hospital in Phatthalung.
Earlier Justice Minister Thawee Sodsong together with Pol. Lt. Gen. Piyawat Chalermsri, commander of Provincial Police Region 9, and Pol. Lt. Gen. Suraphong Thanomsri, commander of Provincial Police Region 8, and other senior officials went to the forward operation centre in Phatthalung to monitor the big manhunt for the escapee hiding in thick mountainous jungles that has continued for five days now.
They were told that the team hunting for the fugitive has been strengthened with a unit from Border Patrol Police No. 44 being dropped by helicopter close to the point where a shootout with Chaowalit and his men occurred last Wednesday Nov. 8.
He is believed to still be roaming around this forest about 500 to 700 metres away from the point of shootout and can no longer contact anyone being entirely cut off. He has no food but is eating wild fruit to survive.
At night he hid under logs or big rocks with residue of fruit he ate being found there.
While serving a 20 years and six months jail term for attempted murder since last year, Chaowalit escaped for Maharat Nakhon Si Thammarat Hospital on Oct. 22 after being taken there for dental treatment but afterwards admitted upon collapsing due to leg pains. Even though he was restrained to the bed and was wearing leg shackles he escaped that night.
Mr. Chaowalit Thongduang and the big police team hunting for him in action. All photos: Matichon