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Blaze damages tour boats in central Thailand

Samut Prakan boat fire, photo via Bangkok Post.

A blaze damaged three electric tour boats in Thailand‘s central Samut Prakan province this morning. The boats were recharging at a pier on the Chao Phraya river in the Phra Pradaeng district.

A security guard at the pier, 64 year old Somdet Sae Ueng, stated that the fire began when a battery on one of the tour boats exploded, and flames spread to other boats nearby.

Firefighters from the Puchao Saming Phrai Municipality arrived on the scene with five trucks and put out the flames in about half an hour. The damage from the incident was still being evaluated, and there were no reported injuries, Bangkok Post reported.

The Samut Prakan Marine Office is currently investigating the cause of the fire and invited witnesses to provide information. The Samut Prakan Marine Department also reported that there were 11 electric tour boats moored at the pier when the fire broke out, and the three damaged boats were unregistered for service.

The names of the three damaged boats are Mine Smart Ferry 27, Mine Smart Ferry 28 and Mine Smart Ferry 29. The pier was rented by Mine Mobility Research Co., which provides services for electric boats.

This news comes after another boat fire broke out in Thailand earlier this month.

On the night of February 4, a speedboat engulfed in flames sank off Thailand’s island of Koh Samui. According to the Thailand Maritime Enforcement Command Centre (Thai-MECC), the boat caught fire near the Bang Rak boat pier in tambon Bo Phut of Koh Samui district. Thankfully, no one was hurt in the incident.

Last year, there were a few boat fires in Thailand.

On December 11, a tour boat moored at a pier in Phuket caught fire causing damages but no injuries or deaths. Phuket Governor Narong Woonciew reported that no one was on board the ship at the time of the fire, so there were no injuries or fatalities, but the boat did sustain damages.

People at the scene reported that they initially saw flames on the right side of the boat. Shortly after they heard an explosion and the boat was engulfed in flames.

On April 23, a massive onboard fire destroyed and sank a yacht at the Yacht Haven Marina in Phuket’s Thalang district. Officials who inspected the 12-metre catamaran believed the fire may have been caused by an electrical short-circuit. No passengers were on the vessel when it was scorched, and no injuries were reported. The yacht, a luxury catamaran, was known as the Jimmy Blue and had been docked at Phuket Yacht Haven Marina when the fire gutted it.

Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.