PATONG: Officers at Patong Hospital have denied reports in a local Thai-language newspaper that an Australian serviceman on shore leave was in a coma after being stabbed repeatedly following an altercation in Patong on the night of November 5.

In fact, the soldier was treated for only minor stab wounds, which were stitched in the hospital. He was released shortly thereafter.

The newspaper, which gave the name of the 22-year-old victim, reported that he was stabbed three times in the abdomen, causing his abdominal wall to rupture and his intestines to spill out.

The report said the victim, one of about 1,000 Australian military personnel on shore leave in Phuket in recent days, was stabbed at about 9:30 pm by a member of a motorcycle taxi queue that controls an area near the back entrance to the Jungceylon shopping complex.

He was saved by staff at Patong Hospital and transferred to Bangkok Hospital Phuket in Phuket City, according to the report.

However, when the Gazette called the Bangkok Hospital, they said there was no record of any such patient being treated there.

An officer at Patong Hospital said that an Australian servicemen was treated with stitches for lacerations last night and later released. They refused to comment further, except to say that the man’s condition was certainly not life threatening, as had been reported earlier.