11 mainlanders hurt as speedboat rams barge off Phuket

Top News | Jane Cheung 11 Feb 2019

At least 11 mainland tourists have been injured - one critically - after a speedboat they were on collided with an oil barge near Phuket, Thailand.

The tourists - comprising eight adults and three children aged six, 13 and 16 - were rushed to hospital immediately after the 2.30pm crash on Saturday.

Two Thai crewmen on the speedboat were also injured.

An investigation is under way.

The speedboat reportedly rammed into the barge off Koh Rang while returning from the Phi Phi Islands.

Wiwat Chitchertwong, acting chief of the Phuket marine office, said the twin-engine boat departed from the Yamu Pier in Pa Khlok at 9am after one of the Chinese tourists paid for a day trip to the Phi Phi Islands. It crashed into the barge on the way back to Phuket.

Wiwat said paramedics were waiting at the pier for the injured tourists, who were brought ashore to receive first aid before they and the Thai crewmen were taken to Thalang Hospital and Mission Hospital Phuket.

The Chinese Consulate in Phuket sent representatives to the two hospitals.

It also urged Thai police and marine authorities to investigate the cause of the crash and called on them to provide necessary assistance to the tourists.

Meanwhile, a Taiwanese paragliding coach died and a Shanghai tourist was injured after they fell from a 30-meter high transmission tower yesterday.

Wang Tienming, 57, and the 26 year-old tourist, named Tao, were paragliding in Hualien City near Mingli Village at around 10am.

The paraglider's lines got entangled with tower wires, prompting Wang to cut them free and causing both of them to fall.

The pair were found underneath the paraglider later. Tao was conscious but Wang was certified dead after being rushed to hospital.

Taiwanese authorities said Tao injured his back. He had told paramedics that he could not move his limbs and his back hurt.

Authorities said the weather was windy with fog in the mountainous areas. They suspect the accident occurred after Wang miscalculated the landing distance.

It is understood that Wang owned a paragliding company.

He held a paragliding license and participated in numerous competitions in Taiwan every year.

jane.cheung@singtaonewscorp.com

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