A couple who lived on the building’s 26th floor eventually came to the men’s rescue. With their help, the painters safely reached the ground level of the building in Nonthaburi, a city about 12 miles north of Bangkok.
Now, local authorities are focusing on the person believed to have severed the rope earlier this month: a woman on another floor who, according to local media reports, became upset after she spotted the painters outside her room.
The woman, who was not identified by police, has since been charged with attempted murder and property destruction, Col. Pongjak Preechakarunpong, chief of the Pak Kret police station, told the Associated Press. Authorities have not disclosed the name of the building.
Police in Pak Kret, north of the country’s capital, did not immediately respond to a message from The Washington Post late Wednesday.
The 34-year-old woman, who reported to police with a lawyer, initially denied cutting the rope. On Wednesday, when local authorities showed her the video footage and forensic evidence, the Bangkok Post reported, she conceded that she had done so but told police she never intended to kill the workers.
She cut the rope, she explained, out of annoyance because she did not see the condo’s notice alerting residents of the planned work, the Bangkok Post reported.
One of the painters, a Myanmar national who identified himself as Song, told local media that he and his two colleagues had lowered themselves from the 32nd floor to repair a crack on the building on the afternoon of Oct. 12, the Bangkok Post reported.
By the time Song reached the 30th floor, the rope felt heavier, he told local media, so he looked down to see if there was an issue with the equipment. That’s when he saw a woman about 10 floors down open her window and cut the rope, Song said.
Part of the rope fell to the ground, stranding the men midair. Song alerted his two colleagues.
The men sought help from multiple condo units but none of the residents appeared to be home, the Bangkok Post reported.
When the pair reached the 26th floor, a woman who was sitting in her room noticed them swinging from what was left of the rope and attempting to grasp the clothing line on her balcony, according to the Bangkok Post.
The painters later reported the incident to police, who sent the damaged rope to a lab for fingerprint and DNA testing, local media reported.
The suspect was temporarily released, Pongjak added. Police are expected to file an indictment with the provincial court within 15 days, he told the Associated Press. The woman could face up to 20 years in prison if found guilty of attempted murder.