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Exploding water taxi was one of three vessels to sink

March 8, 2016 Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A Bangkok water taxi carrying about 70 passengers blew to pieces in a thunderous explosion at the weekend, a ferry capsized and sank in the strait between the islands of Bali and Java and another ferry turned turtle and went to the bottom of the sea in the Philippines.

The three disasters have no apparent connection, though they serve to remind travellers to treat water transport in Asia with caution. The Philippines sinking appears to have produced the only fatalities in the trio of mishaps.

The cause of the Bangkok water taxi explosion, which happened on Saturday as the boat neared its dock, was quickly established. The engine blew up. At least 65 passengers were injured, local police said.

Those hurt included three foreigners – a Japanese man and two women from Myanmar. The rest were Thai nationals.

Police said it was not immediately clear why the engine exploded.

A day earlier, in Indonesia, a ferry capsized in the strait between the islands of Bali and Java. Passengers jumped overboard as the vessel went down in calm seas. Bali’s Search and Rescue Agency told the Jakarta Post the ferry was sailing from Gilimanuk port in Bali to Banyuwangi on Java, and the ship’s manifest listed 51 people aboard including 14 crewmen.

Passengers appeared to have had an amazing escape. As of yesterday, no casualties had been reported.

In contrast, three women passengers died when the Philippines ferry, carrying 70 people including crew, hit heavy waves, rolled and sank off Quezon province in Southern Luzon.

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the ferry MV Lady Ann sank while sailing from the port of Salome sa Bata to the town of Alabat, both in Quezon.

Written by Peter Needham

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