Engine fire sinks Phi Phi ferry

PHI PHI ISLANDS: More than 100 tourists were safely rescued by the Krabi Marine Police today after a fire broke out on the ferry they were taking from Phuket to Koh Phi Phi Don.

Phuket Marine Police Officer Lt Col Prathueng Srilamontree identified the vessel as Jet Wave 3, which departed from Rassada Harbor in Phuket this morning bound for Koh Phi Phi Don.

As the vessel was rounding the Maya Bay area of Koh Phi Phi Lei about 11 am, a fire broke out in the engine room.

Frightened passengers rushed to the bow of the 32-meter vessel, where they waited until a number of speedboats dispatched by the Krabi Marine Police came to their rescue.

All of the tourists were safely transported to Phi Phi Don Island, about 15 minutes away.

The 85-tonne vessel, one of four owned and operated by the Andaman Wave Master Company, continued to burn and later sunk.

The apparent cause of the blaze was a fuel line leak, Col Prathueng said.

Passengers were to be returned to Phuket later today free of charge if they desired.

Marine Police will likely try to raise and remove the sunken vessel, he added.

Phuket News

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