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Phuket

All saved as ferry burns and sinks

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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All saved as ferry burns and sinks | The Thaiger

PHUKET: Courageous ferry skippers who came alongside a burning tour boat today in Phang Nga Bay saved all 166 passengers and three crew. There were no injuries. The ferry, the 30-meter “Phuket Cruiser 2”, left Rassada Quay on the east side of Phuket Town for Phi Phi Island at 8 am. About an hour later, fire broke out in the engine room. The flames swiftly ran out of control, engulfing the vessel from stem to stern. Seeing the smoke, other boats rushed to the scene. First there was the “Koh Yao Queen”, followed by “Sea Breeze” and the “Phi Phi Cruiser”. All came alongside the burning boat and took on passengers. They were joined 20 minutes later by two vessels from the Marine Police and the Phuket Harbour Master’s Department. By then, all passengers and crew had been evacuated, so the two government boats began to fight the fire. They were too late. Flames had eaten through the wooden hull and the boat sank. Don Lornee, 44, the vessel’s skipper, and Kalim Kongbamroong, 47, the engineer, have been arrested and charged with “negligence leading to damage to the property of others”. Meanwhile, an investigation into the cause of the fire has been launched, said Pol Maj Narong Nateboot, Inspector of the Phuket Marine Police. “We’re looking at two possibilities. First is a short circuit in the engine room. The second is a leaky fuel hose. This, if it touched a hot exhaust pipe, might have led to the fire.” Pol Col Misakawan Buara, Superintendent of the Marine Police, said most of the passengers, though frightened by what had happened, decided to go on to Phi Phi Island. Ten opted to head back to Phuket, mostly because they had lost personal effects, cash and documents in the fire. The wooden Phuket Cruiser 2, which was licensed to carry as many as 215 passengers, was owned by Singh Phuket Co Ltd. The company has been operating passenger boats from Phuket for about five years. Aboard the vessel were 60 Chinese, 29 Swedes, 18 Britons, 14 Singaporeans, 10 French, nine Australians, nine Brazilians, five Thais, three Indians, three Malaysians, two Italians, two Spaniards and two Egyptians Phuket’s boat safety record has been under scrutiny in recent years as the result of a rash of accidents, particularly in 1998 when 25 lives were lost in two separate mishaps. In addition to the fatal accidents that year, a passenger cruiser ran aground with scores of tourists and sank. A few months later, on November 21, 95 passengers, mostly from Hong Kong, were forced to abandon a tour boat when it started taking on water and capsized, bottom up. As was the case again today, both vessels were en route to Phi Phi, and both narrowly escaped passenger deaths when nearby vessels came to the rescue.



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Phuket

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin

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Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | The Thaiger

UPDATE: The suspect in this morning’s shootings, 53 year old Chana Rodket from Songkhla, has shot and killed himself in Saphan His this afternoon. He was a housekeeper a the beauty spa where the shooting took place.

Earlier, a South Korean man and Thai woman were injured in a shooting at a beauty spa near Naka Market in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds. Wichit Police reports that they was notified of the incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ at 10.30am.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots. Blood-stained towels were found around the scene of the shooting.

The two people shot were 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim (father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa) and a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua, a staff member at the spa.

Both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital.

Phuket Town Beauty spa shooter kills himself in Saphan Hin | News by The Thaiger

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning

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Two shot in Phuket Town beauty spa this morning | The Thaiger

A South Korean man and Thai woman have been injured in spa shooting in Phuket Town.

The two sustained serious injuries from bullet wounds after having been shot at the spa in Wichit today.

Wichit Police reports that they was notified of an incident at ‘The Beauty Spa’ in Wichit at 10.30am this morning.

Police and emergency responders arrived at the scene to find two injuried from gun shots – a 74 year old South Korean man, Kwang Hee Kim, and father of Ms Eun Mi Kim, the owner of the Beauty Spa.

The other person injured was a 56 year old Thai woman named as Somsri Chuatonghua who is staff at the spa.

They were both taken to Vachira Phuket Hospital. The suspect, Somphon, a house-keeper at the spa, is currently being sought by police.

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Bangkok

TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran

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TAT expects 2.3 million tourists for this year’s Songkran | The Thaiger

The Tourism Authority of Thailand is expecting more than 2.3 million local and foreign tourists will join the various Songkran celebrations this year. They say that should generate 20 billion baht+ in revenue for tourism and tourism-related services.

TAT’s Governor Yuthasak Supasorn says 300,000 international arrivals are expected to celebrate the five day festival starting April 12, along with two million locals who will travel to celebrate Songkran this year. Songkran falling on a weekend this year will also bolster local tourism numbers.

The number of Songkran-specific visitors is up this year, partly because of the growing popularity of the festival internationally and the government extending the holiday to five days this year, now starting on April 12 (although ‘Songkran, the Thai New Year, is actually on April 13).

Songkran festival extended HERE.

He admits that the bad publicity about the poor air quality in the northern regions is a problem, especially around Chiang Mai which has become a big international visitor favorite over recent yers.

Chiang Mai is one of nine provinces in the North struggling with smoke haze, mostly because of open-air burning of farm waste and rubbish, and localised bush fires. The heavy smog has caused temporary suspension of flights between Chiang Mai and Mae Hong Son although flights into Chiang Mai have been unaffected so far.

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