Death toll rising in Thailand tourist boat disaster

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A capsized boat off the coast of Phuket has now claimed 41 lives with 15 still reported missing in Thailand’s biggest tourist-related disaster in years.

 

Last Thursday, a dive boat carrying 105 passengers and crew members capsized in rough seas amid a violent storm off Phuket.

 

So far 41 people are confirmed dead with more still missing.

 

According to officials, all of the dead are Chinese nationals.

 

The Phoenix dive boat sank 40 metres below the surface of the Andaman Sea, a few kilometres off the coast of Koh He, an island popular with day-trippers from the tourist hub of Phuket.

 

The Phoenix was among several boats that appeared to have ignored a severe weather warning.

 

Prawit Wongsuwan, Thailand’s Deputy Prime Minister, blamed Chinese tour operators for not respecting Thai safety legislation.

 

The captain of another boat that capsized the same day was charged for being careless leading to injuries. All the passengers from the second ship were rescued.

 

Thailand’s tourism ministry said it would give 1 million baht ($30,174) in compensation to each family of the victims.