Two Chinese tourists died in yet another speedboat accident when their speedboat crashed with another one, injuring 62 people.
Phuket Marine Police deputy superintendent Lt Col Prasert Srikunarat confirmed the collision of the Chonlakij with the Hongfa that had happened on Wednesday around 12:30.
The accident occurred while the Chonlakij was transporting tourists from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi, carrying 36 in total including crew members. 26 people were on board the Hongfa which was travelling the same way back to Phuket, Lt Col Prasert told the media.
When the two vessels approached each other, the captain of the Hongfa failed to stir the speedboat away. It then collided with the oncoming Chonlakij, throwing most of the tourists on both boats into the open water.
“The Chonlakij sank, but all people on board were rescued by dive boats nearby”, Lt Col Prasert described the aftermath. However, two Chinese tourists, one of them a 26-year-old woman named Yan Yang, succumbed to their injuries shortly later.
A total of seven people were seriously injured in the collision while a further 19 suffered injuries requiring medical attention, Phuket Governor Chamroen Tipyayapongtada said in a statement in the afternoon. 26 more people suffered minor injuries and were taken to Mission Hospital for treatment.
Most of the tourists on board the two boats were Chinese or Korean. A total of 62 people were on board the vehicles at the time of the collision, the governor said. Police confirmed that all 62 people are accounted for, and none was missing.
“We are still investigating the cause of the collision,” Lt Col Prasert Srikunarat told The Phuket News. It was fortunate that all tourists on both boats were wearing life jackets. If they weren’t, the number of casualties could have been much worse.”
Meanwhile, police are waiting for doctors to confirm the cause of death of both people who died. At this stage, it is not sure if the force of the impact caused their death or if they drowned, Lt Col Prasert said.
The bodies of Ms Yan and the second fatal victim were brought to the morgue at Vachira Phuket Hospital. Chinese authorities are aware of the accident.
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