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5 Chinese among 7 hurt in Phuket speedboat crash

The speedboat Sai Nam is missing part of its bow after hitting the oil barge Chok Kriangkrai near Koh Rang off the east coast of Phuket on Saturday afternoon. (Photo taken by Tambon Pa Khlok municipality)

PHUKET: Seven people, including five Chinese tourists, were injured when their speedboat hit a barge at Koh Rang off the east coast of this island province on Saturday afternoon.

The speedboat Sai Nam carrying 10 Chinese tourists was on the way back from a day trip to Koh Phi Phi in Krabi when it struck the barge carrying oil near the island, said Pol Capt Ekkasak Khwanwan, deputy investigator, who was alerted around 2.50pm.

The force of the crash caused the boat captain, a boat employee and five tourists to sustain injuries. All were taken to the Yamu pier in Thalang district before being sent to the Thalang and Mission Phuket hospitals. The injured Chinese included two boys, one woman and two men.

Staff of nearby boats came to their rescue to help the injured and pull the speedboat back to the pier. The boat sustained heavy damage to its bow.

Wiwat Chidcherdwong, director of the Phuket marine office, said there were 10 Chinese tourists, including eight adults and two children, and two employees on board the boat when the accident occurred.

The cause of the crash was being investigated, he said.

Saturday’s incident was the second involving a speedboat this week. Two Chinese tourists were slightly injured after their boat hit an underwater rock and sank off Koh Samet in Rayong on Thursday.

An injured tourist is taken to a hospital after a speedboat struck a barge at an island off Phuket on Saturday. (Photo taken by Tambon Pa Khlok municipality)

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