Krabi – The Minister for Tourism and Sports has visited the injured and promised every assistance to tourists affected by the speedboat disaster off Phi Phi Island on the weekend, in which the vessel exploded.
The King Poseidon 959, carrying 31 passengers and crew members, exploded while operating a tour of Hat Nopparat-Koh Phi Phi National Park in Krabi province on Sunday. Park Chief Worapoj Lomlim has reported that all passengers were rescued after the incident with 16 injured, 3 critically. Initial analysis of the situation has indicated the explosion was probably caused by an engine malfunction.
The triple engined vessel was carrying 26 tourists, mostly Chinese nationals, guides and crew members, with some reporting that a fuel leak was detected before the explosion. The captain of the boat was reported to have been checking the engine just before the calamity.
Minister of Tourism and Sports, Weerasak Kosurat, upon hearing of the incident, cancelled his engagements and flew direct to the area to personally visit the victims at Krabi Nakarin International Hospital, promising them full assistance whether in terms of hospital payments or coordination with insurance companies.
The minister commended the boat’s captain and crew for helping to get their passengers to safety despite also being injured in the explosion. He added that stepped up safety measures would be implemented immediately to bolster confidence in the boat tours.
Police are waiting to question the boat’s captain and other key witnesses, many of whom are still in intensive care. Authorities have already begun investigating the site of the explosion.