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PHUKET: An elderly Samut Prakan man allegedly doused his own cancer-stricken younger brother in gasoline before setting him on fire in a case of almost unbelievable savagery last week.

Before launching the attack, Thawat Limyothin, 61, was apparently hit by drops of liquid that fell from the ceiling below a room in which his brother Kiatchai Limyothin, 50, was convalescing.

Mr Thawat reportedly thought the liquid was Mr Kiatchai’s urine, sending him into a rage.

After committing the brutal crime, Mr Thawat fled the scene.

Police were alerted to the crime on the afternoon of December 10 after receiving reports of a fire at a shop house on Phrapradaeng-Bangkorbua Road in Talat, Samut Prakan.

The blaze took two fire engines 10 minutes to put out. By then, Mr Kiatchai’s wife, Wanyupha, had already rushed her husband to the hospital, but not before he had suffered severe burns to his body.

Kulapthip Kritphonphiman, 50, one of nine family members who shared the house, witnessed the brutal attack.

Mrs Kulapthip, a daughter-in-law of the house’s owner Khatiang Saetang, 80, said Mr Kiatchai had cancer and had been recovering in a room on the house’s third floor after being discharged from hospital the previous day.

Mr Thawat was sleeping in the room below that of Mr Kiatchai. He was hit by two drops of liquid, which he thought was Mr Kiatchai’s urine, and flew into a rage, Mrs Kulapthip said.

Storming out of the house, he grabbed a 20-liter oil canister before carrying it to his brother’s room, dousing him in oil and setting him alight. He then turned and fled the house, “without looking back”, said Mrs Kulapthip.

After smelling the smoke, Mrs Wanyupha found her husband in flames. She doused the fire and rushed him to the hospital.

The two siblings had apparently been in conflict for some time. Mr Kiatchai reportedly spilled water on a regular basis, causing arguments between the two men.

Police are charging Mr Thawat with starting a fire that caused serious injuries to another person and have issued a warrant for his arrest. Mr Kiatchai is recovering in the hospital from severe burns.