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Death toll rises to 18 in Thai boat sinking, 12 missing

19 September 2016, 14:11

Bangkok — Searchers in Thailand have recovered 18 bodies and are continuing to look for 12 people missing from a heavily loaded boat that sank in a river over the weekend, officials said.

The two-deck boat was carrying more than 100 Muslims on a holiday excursion when it sank Sunday afternoon on the Chao Phraya river 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Bangkok. The boat evidently ran up a riverbank then took on water, sinking in less than two minutes just a few meters offshore.

Bodies were still being retrieved Monday afternoon, with 18 recovered so far, a Marine Department official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because she was not authorised to release information. Some bodies were found in the partially overturned boat, while others had drifted downstream. In addition to the dead and missing, 44 people were injured.

A Harbor Department official, Surasak Sansombat, was quoted earlier by ThaiPBS television as saying that the boat's listed capacity was 50 passengers and it probably capsized from overloading.

"Many passengers tried to jump out of the boat and scrambled toward the shore, which was about three to five meters away," Annop Kudeephan, a 50-year-old survivor, was quoted as saying in The Nation newspaper.

- AP


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