Terrified tourists leap into sea after Thailand ferry fire | World | News by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 6 min read

Tourists were forced to flee for their lives after the ferry they were travelling on burst into flames off the coast of Thailand. Tourists were travelling on the ship and just about to arrive at Koh Tao when a passenger said they heard crackling and ‘smelt smoke’.

Huge plumes of black smoke were then seen billowing from the ship, and a fire began to engulf the ship only five minutes later, forcing passengers to leap into the sea for safety.

Maitree Promjampa who saw the smoke told AP: “We could barely get the life vests in time. It was chaotic. People were weeping.”

There were 108 people travelling on board the ship when the fire broke out, 97 of whom were passengers. There were also a number of families with young children on board the ship.

According to officials, all of those onboard were safe. Surat Thani province also posted on social media that everyone was rescued and there were no casualties.

In video taken on the ship, huge plumes of black smoke could be seen billowing from the ferry’s cabin, and passengers were filmed hurriedly donning life jackets.

Several boats were sent to the passengers rescue as the ship was engulfed in flames, but according to Mr Promjampa, who lives in Surat Thani and travels to Koh Tao for work, they could not get close enough for fears of explosions.

This forced those onboard to leap into the sea to reach their rescuers.

He added: “Everyone had to help themselves.”

The cause of the fire is being investigated, according to officials, but began in the engine room. The boat did not sink.

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