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Thai amputee from SMRT incident now Goodwill Ambassador

Image Credits: MThai Women

 

Do you remember the incident in April 2011, when 14-year-old Nitcharee “Than” Peneakchanasak lost both her legs after falling onto the MRT tracks at Ang Mo Kio station?

She has been chosen to be a “happiness observer” at World Medical Hospital (WMH) in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

The lucrative job is a six-month contract that pays THB1 million (S$40,806) a month.

Here are some interesting facts that have transpired.

 

Ambiguity

The video footage of the incident was not made public and the exact details concerning how and why she fell onto the tracks were unclear.

She was reportedly against having the video shown in court, although news reports have indicated her flipping over the edge of the platform and onto the tracks.

A few seconds later, the arriving train ran over her legs, causing one to be severed and the second, amputated.

 

 

Suing for damages

Ms Nitcharee and her family later sued SMRT and the Land Transport Authority (LTA) for $3.4 million on claims of negligence and lack of safety for commuters.

The High Court ruled against her, stating that Ang Mo Kio MRT station was “reasonably safe” at the time she was injured, hence making the defendants not liable.

She was ordered to bear the costs of the trial. However, the defendants’ (SMRT and LTA) lawyer, Mr K. Anparasan told the court that his clients would not be pursuing cost “out of compassion, sympathy and goodwill”.

She lost her appeal in 2014.

 

Donations

SMRT had offered her father S$15,000 out of goodwill after the incident.

The Rotary E-Club of Singapore had donated S$45,022 to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for her medical bills.

In total, she received more than $400,000 from donors in Singapore and elsewhere for her medical expenses.

Prosthetic legs require replacing every few years and cost more than S$200,000.

 

Cheerful disposition

Since the incident, she has been pursuing her interests with vigour.

Taking part in Miss Wheelchair Thailand in 2013, she finished as 1st runner-up.

Ms Nitcharee also works at Wheelchair Scuba Thailand, a non-governmental organisation that helps people with disabilities participate in scuba diving.

 

Image Credits: Bangkok Post

 

Image Credits: Facebook/Nitcharee Peneakchanasak

 

The now 21-year-old mass communication student at Thammasat University has just left for Vancouver Canada to study English for two months at the University of British Columbia.

She will officially start work in September after her return.

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