Published on : Thursday, April 9, 2015
One person died and a 12 year old girl is missing as a large ferry, Ao Nang Princess 5 off Krabi was engulfed in fire with 117 tourists on board. Nearly all passengers escaped safely except a 12 year old European child who was in the toilet when the blaze erupted and destroyed the boat to the waterline.
The ferry was carrying 117 passengers – 107 adults and 10 children – the ferry reportedly left Koh Phi Phi and was heading for Nopparatthara Beach near Ao Nang when the fire broke out near Koh Met.
The Ao Nang Princess 5 was 10 kilometers off the coast of Ao Nang in Krabi province when the blaze broke out. The burning ferry was spotted by fishing trawlers and speedboats that saw the smoke and responded to the anguished cry of the tourists.
They managed to rescue scores of tourists from the water. The ferry made regular trips in this route carrying passengers from Phuket to Krabi. The fire broke out afternoon when the ferry was returning to Phuket.
The fishing trawlers and the speed boats came at the right time and helped in the rescue operations by saving all the passengers except the girl.
Search is still on for the 12 year old girl. The rescuers were unaware of the girl in the toilet or else they would have made immediate attempts to save her. However, the authorities hope that the girl is still alive.
The boat burnt at remarkable speed and had it not been for quick rescue operations most passengers would have died.
The captain of the ferry said that there was an explosion in the engine room and he told the passengers to put on their life jackets but fortunately other boats reached just in time and rescued the passengers.
The vessel sank at 6pm and is now at the bottom of the ocean. Divers will go down to the wreckage in search of the little girl.
The officers are still checking the passenger list to identify the dead person. Officials are trying to transfer the passengers back to their accommodations in Phuket.
Tags: Ao Nang Princess 5, Koh Phi Phi, krabi, Nopparatthara Beach, phuket