A US Army officer has died while on temporary duty in Thailand to take part in a major multinational military exercise, US and Thai officials said Wednesday. No foul play was suspected, they said.
Maj. Andrew Cotter had participated in Cobra Gold, a training and coordination exercise with the United States and host Thailand that was joined by five key Asian allies, with additional participation from 23 other countries. More than 7,000 servicemen participate.
Cotter served as an operations officer for the 17th Thunderbolt Field Artillery Brigade in I Army Corps, said a statement released from where the unit is normally stationed, Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state. He said he was found unconscious in the central Thai city of Lopburi, one of the sites for the drill, and confirmed dead on Tuesday.
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Police Colonel Raksak Mekchinda, superintendent of Lopburi Police Station, said Cotter’s body was discovered in a bathroom around 2 am on Tuesday.
“He passed out in the bathroom, it was locked, his soldier friends were looking for him and they couldn’t find him, so they kicked down the door and then they found him,” she said. “He probably had a medical condition.”
Cotter’s body was transferred to the Bangkok Police General Hospital for autopsy and US military officers requested that they too be allowed to perform their own autopsy, said Raksak, who added that the embassy of the United States will make arrangements for the repatriation of the body.