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Pattaya Speedboat Clash

2 Chinese tourists die in boat-clash in Thailand

Dec 03, 2009

BANGKOK - Two Chinese tourists died in a speed-boat-clash on Wednesday off Thailand's Pattaya coast, while at least another 14 people on board got injured.

The Chinese travel agency that organized the tour group identified the two victims, who got drowned, as Zheng Honglu, male,57, and Chen Dingshan, male, 61.

According to an official from the Chinese embassy in Thailand, another nine tourists from the Chinese mainland and one from China's Hong Kong, were injured when two speed boats clashed at about 12:30 p.m. local time in Pattaya offshore.

The accident happened about 100 meters offshore, said Liu Xiaojian, an injured Chinese tourist, when an one-engine speed boat named Ta-wat-chai-nam-chok collided with the other one-engine speed boat named New Friend.

"The boat was carrying us, 29 tourists from China, three tour guides and a boat driver to go back to Pattaya shore from Lan Island, when I felt the strong shock suddenly and the boat begin to sink right away into the sea," Liu said in the hospital. He said his nose was broken in the accident and probably need to accept surgery.

The other boat, with 13 tourists from the Middle East, Britain and Russia along with two boat drivers, stuck onto the shallow water, according to The Nation online.

All the injured had been sent to Pattaya Memorial Hospital immediately, said the hospital's coordinator Somkiat Potrerayut, adding that eight of them had been discharged as their injuries are minor.

Besides the 9 mainlanders and a Hong Kong tourist, there were also two British, one Pakistani and one Thai injured in the accident, he said.

Somkiat said so far there are six Chinese, including the one from Hong Kong, remaining in hospital, with two of them in ICU. "But the two guys are fully conscious and are able to talk, " he said, adding they will stay in the ICU for one or two more days after suffering the condition of "near drowning".

The two victims, who were identified to be dead on the way to the Memorial Hospital, had been sent to the nearest public hospital for the possible autopsy, Somkiat told Xinhua.

According to The Nation online, Muang Pattaya's deputy superintendent Pol Lt Col Chanapat Nawalak said the initial police investigation found that the two boats drove in the opposite direction to one another, arriving at and departing from the pier, when a side of New Friend boat hit the other boat's rear, causing both boats to break and sink. Police was aiming to press the charge of reckless driving, causing other people's deaths and injuries, against both boats' drivers.

The officials from the Chinese embassy arrived in Pattaya this afternoon to help investigate the accident and to show their condolence to the dead and the injured.

The Chinese victims were under a tour group organized by Wuhan Spring International Travel Service of China's Hubei Province. Ms.Liu Huiping, an staff from the travel agency, told Xinhua that they will send staff to Thailand Thursday to take care of their tourists and other issues.

Beach resort town Pattaya is located in Thailand's eastern province of Chon-bu-ri.

2 Chinese tourists die in boat-clash in Thailand
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