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Phuket governor summons owner of speedboat for questioning

The governor of Phuket on Monday (Jan 15) summoned the owner of King Poseidon speedboat for questioning after yesterday's fire and explosion injured 16 people, most of them Chinese tourists.

The boat was on its way to Phi Phi island with five Thai and 26 Chinese passengers, including three children when its engine exploded reportedly after fuel was leaked from the fuel tank to the engine.

The accident took place shortly after noon near Viking Cave in Krabi province on Sunday (Jan 14).

A total of 16 tourists and boat staff were injured. No one died as reported earlier.

So far 10 Chinese tourists are still at Phuket hospital and 3 in Krabi hospital.

The governor summoned the boat owner for questioning about the cause of the accident and to discuss its plan to compensate the tourists.

Phuket police will also question the boat owner and the boat driver. They will be initially charged for reckless acts causing injuries to others.

The incident prompted marine officials at all coastal provinces in the Andaman Sea to order all speedboat operators to increase safety checks.

In Krabi, marine officials went out to the beaches examine if tourist boat drivers and mechanics have proper licences or not. They also checked if tourist boats have adequate safety equipments and life jackets.

In Phang-nga and Trang provinces, marine national park officials inspected tourist boats to make sure they have enough safety facilities on board.

Some tourist boats were found to operate without licences or expired licences. Hefty fines were imposed on operators.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)