14
Wednesday
November 2018
12:24 AM IST
News Headlines
Preparing for Australia tour by watching videos: Shami        India invites Swedish companies to explore investment opportunities        Govt cancels ED officer Rajeshwar Singh's leave        175 dead, over 10,000 affected by Nigeria cholera outbreak        Lankan parties move SC against Parliament dissolution by Prez Sirisena        Delhi pollution: Task forces conducts meetings on WhatsApp for urgent decisions        PM slams Rahul, Sonia for questioning note ban; need no certificate from those on bail        70 per cent turnout in first phase of Chhattisgarh polls: EC        Union Minister Upendra Kushwaha attacks NDA ally Nitish Kumar amid reports of RLSP MLA joining JD(U)        Mining Baron Janardhana Reddy Remanded in Custody Till November 24 for 'Shielding' Ponzi Scam Accused Father-Son        Death toll hits 25 from wildfires at both ends of California        "Nationalism Betrayal Of Patriotism": Emmanuel Macron, Trump By His Side        3rd T20: Dhawan, Pant take Ind to victory, series win        FC Goa beat Kerala Blasters 3-1 in ISL        One killed, several injured in stabbing attack in Melbourne: Police        Journalists beware: After Bloomberg bots, AI news presenter debuts in China        Harmanpreet Kaur’s record century headlines India’s big win over NZ in opener        Mumbai City end NorthEast United’s unbeaten run        Chelsea beat BATE 1-0 in Europa League        Srikanth enters pre-quarterfinals of China Open        
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International News
Toll from deadly Thai tourist boat sinking rises to 41
 
Phuket (Thailand), Jul 7 (AFP) Recovery divers have pulled 41 bodies from the sea off the Thai holiday island of Phuket, officials said today, 48 hours after a boat capsized in rough waters killing dozens of Chinese passengers.

Many of the dead were found drifting in the sea, still wearing life jackets, several kilometres from where the Phoenix went down after being hit by five-metre (15-foot) high waves in a storm on Thursday evening.

It is one of the worst boat disasters in the recent history of Thailand, a nation with a poor health and safety track record despite being heavily dependent on tourism.

The death toll rose to 41 today, with 15 still missing, according to the Phuket province public relations department.

Seventeen Chinese divers joined the operation today to recover bodies as conflicting figures emerged about the number of dead.

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong had earlier said that five bodies were found today, in addition to 37 bodies recovered yesterday.

The triple decked Phoenix was carrying 105 passengers, mostly Chinese tourists, when it sank on the way back from a popular snorkelling spot.

The Phuket provincial government has said the island's morgue is full, with Chinese authorities requesting 40 further refrigeration units.

Some 48 people -- passengers and crew -- were rescued on Thursday, while a Chinese woman was plucked from the churning waters yesterday and rushed to hospital in Phuket after spending the night in the water.

Divers yesterday reported seeing "over 10 bodies" floating inside the hull of the boat, which is submerged 40 metres below the surface of the Andaman Sea.

Thai navy Rear Admiral Charoenphon Khumrasee has said hopes are now dwindling of finding more people alive.

"Of course we'll continue searching but the chances of survival are low. We will wait for the bodies to float to the top on their own," he said today.

China's ambassador to Thailand, who travelled to Phuket, said Beijing had sent two search and rescue teams to help the Thai authorities.

"We aim to find the missing as soon as possible, as well as provide assistance to the injured, and family members of those involved, as well as help them make preparations for the next step," he said.

The Phoenix was among several boats that appeared to have ignored a warning in place since Wednesday against taking passengers on day-trips to the islands that dot the seas off the tourist magnet of Phuket.

It sank in rough weather a few kilometres off the coast of Koh He, an islet known for its coral formations.

Several other vessels hit trouble late Thursday, but all of their passengers were rescued.

Thailand is already in the global spotlight for a dramatic rescue mission in the north of the country, after 12 boys and their football coach were trapped in a cave complex.

Last year 9.8 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, with five million more arriving between January and May this year.


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