Disturbing video has emerged of an altercation between two rival groups of ‘body snatchers’, at a Bangkok hospital, with reports of a woman suffering a gunshot wound as a result of the melee between the two groups of volunteers.
Reportedly recorded in the early hours of Thursday (April 12) morning at the Central General Hospital (CGH) in Bang Khen District of Bangkok, the video above shows two police holding batons, doing a poor job at shielding a man from a mob of volunteer rescue personnel.
Thai-language news site Manager Online reports that the fracas involved members of the Ruam Katanyu Foundation and the Civil Defence Volunteers (CDVs), two of many groups of rival ‘body snatchers’ across the country who rapidly converge on the scene of motor vehicle crashes and other emergencies and whisk the injured away to hospitals.
The video above opens with the videographer running towards the entrance of the hospital, people running in the opposite direction.
The camera operator follows two Thai police into a hospital reception area, where members of the foundation are seen pursuing another man, leaping over the hospital information counter in the process.
The two police and several hospital security guards do a poor job at protecting the man, who desperately attempts to summons an elevator as the mob move in on him, holding what appears to be a large knife in his right hand.
The knife is knocked from his hand by a well aimed traffic cone, with the police helpless to hold the mob back. The man is then beaten and kicked for about 15 seconds, his shirt ripped from his body, before order is restored.
Manager Online reports that the girlfriend of a Ruam Katanyu official was shot in the right shoulder at the hospital by a bullet fired from a person on a motorcycle, who had earlier been seen earlier talking to members of the CDV. It is not known if the man in the video above is involved in the shooting or not.
Originally established in 1979, Thailand’s CDVs falls under the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM), under the Ministry of Interior (MoI).
According to the DDPM website CDVs are meant to support the government implement disaster prevention and mitigation programmes, undertaking tasks such as disaster preparedness, emergency response, emergency rescue and medical services, evacuation and victim assistance.
While clashes between rival groups of ‘body snatchers’ were once common — hospitals paying for patients delivered to them — the days of shoot-outs over the bodies of injured motor crash victims has all but disappeared.
Police should have no trouble piecing it all together though, with at least three police in the video clearly seen wearing what appear to be cameras on the right side of their motorbike helmets.
Update: This story was last updated at 13:06 on April 24, 2018:
Thailand police announced on April 23 that they had charged a 26-year-old man with attempted murder, illegally possessing a gun, and carrying a gun in a public place, Ruam Katanyu Foundation and Sai Mai district Civil Defence Volunteers (CDVs).
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