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Vehicle possibly belonging to missing Thai students found

Vehicle possibly belonging to missing Thai students found

Local authorities in California are consulting with military experts to discuss options for retrieving the bodies of two foreign exchange students believed to be in a wrecked auto that's been in the raging Kings River for 17 days.

They asked Steel for her support to urge the Fresno County Coroner's Office to speed up the work, as it was nearly half a month since the accident.

Unsafe conditions are keeping Fresno police from recovering a vehicle containing two bodies believed to be missing Thai students.

Thailand's Consulate in Los Angeles says it believes the bodies belong to two Thai students who attend the University of South Florida and were vacationing in California.

In a letter sent to the Fresno County Board of Supervisors on Thursday, Thai Consul-General Tanee Sangrat acknowledged that several factors had "hindered the rescue and recovery operation" but said the delays were causing the families of the two students increasing anguish.

Thai officials relayed the views of California rescuers on Friday amid in the Thai community about the delay in retrieving the bodies from the auto that plunged into the gorge near Fresno on July 26.

In Bangkok, Ekkachai Taidecha, uncle of Bhakapon, applied yesterday for entry visas for a Thai rescue team, saying Thais should take over if U.S. authorities continued to fail to act.

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The uncle said he is working on sending a Thai rescue team to California to recover the bodies, according to the paper.

"To reiterate, recovering the bodies is a top priority, but the safety of our personnel is also a top concern and it will dictate any efforts we make moving forward with the operation", the sheriff's office stated Thursday.

Officials say the auto went off the road 75 miles east of Fresno in the steep Sierra Nevada mountains.

Photos of skid marks suggest the students failed to negotiate a turn.

"(California Highway Patrol) and local authorities have treated this case as a missing person's case until officials can prove identities of those involved in the vehicle accident", the consulate wrote then.

Thiwadee "Min" Saengsuriyarit, 24, and Pakkapol "Golf" Chairattanasongporn, 28, were trapped in their vehicle when it plunged off a mountain road on their way to Kings Canyon National Park in California.


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