The managing director of Thai Aiways, Sorajak Kasemsuvan, has said that his company will conduct a major ceremony to appease the malevolent spirits said to be haunting Suvarnabhumi airport. The ceremony will thank the spirits for assisting with the successful operation to salvage the Thai Airways plane from the runway.
A ghost in traditional costume was rumored to have helped evacuate the passengers from the aircraft shortly after it slid off the runway, and former director of Airports Authority of Thailand (AOT) Chotisak Asapaviriya said that he used to organise a regular prayer session to appease the vengeful spirits at Suvarnabhumi airport.
At the ceremony to open the airport in 2006, Chotisak said an official in charge of searching for explosive materials went into a trance believing that he was being possessed by a “grandfather ghost” who demanded a shrine be built at the airport, which it quickly was.
Eight shrines have been built around Suvarnabhumi to ward off evil spirits, such as a shrine dedicated to the Naga, reported Khaosod.
Ghostbusters have been busy at work at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport apparently to appease the spirits who have sabotaged the landing of a Thai Airways A380 which skidded off the runway, injuring 20 people. According to one report, holes were found on the ceiling of the aircraft. These were believed to be caused by the heads of the unfortunate passengers.
Attributing the sudden turbulence to evil spirits did not cause too much of a stir within the local population, but the laughter that it generated among the expatriates can be heard from as far as Singapore.
There are other advantages with this approach. Firstly, most locals will be satisfied with that explanation. Secondly, it’s probably much cheaper and easier to appease the spirits than to invest in aircraft maintenance and pilot training. The Prime Minister who dared to do something definitive by sacking the entire Board of Directors at Thai Airways was ousted in a military coup a few years later. The purchase of the long-range A340-500 aircraft capable of non-stop flights to America was often cited as a mistake by the then Prime Minister, but the airlines problems are far more deep-seated than a bad purchase. Welcome to amazing Thailand.
The train was traveling to Bangkok from Su-ngai Kolok and was headed for platform number 8 at Hua Lamphong, when carriages numbers 1-4 derailed. The locomotive was still on track and functioning normally. No one was injured.
A number of trains were delayed because of the rearrangements needed to circumvent the derailed carriages.
Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthiphan quickly visited the incident site, and afterwards told reporters that the cause was suspected to be the age of the rail track and the damaged railway wooden sleepers.
He then told State Railway of Thailand governor Praphat Chongsa-nguan to inspect all the rail tracks in the Bangkok area for damage and report the findings within this week.
The State Railway chief was also told to report the condition of all rail tracks in the country by next week, and to present a maintenance plan and budget to the Ministry of Transport. Mr. Chatchart indicated that the frequent train derailments was an issue that needed to be urgently resolved, and the entire rail system needed to be inspected visually on foot.
Wow, that’s a lot of work – definitely a lot more taxing than making offerings to the spirits. This makes me wonder why the spirit story was not used on the railway instead. After all, there are a lot more believers travelling by rail while international air passengers may not be so keen to land on a haunted airport.
© Chan Joon Yee