39 injured, two missing as 2 tourist boats collide in Thailand

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BANGKOK – Thirty-nine passengers were injured and two were missing after two boats carrying Thai and foreign tourists to a popular island beach party collided in the Gulf of Thailand, a news report said Sunday.

The boats were ferrying tourists to Pha-ngan island to attend a “full moon” party, a monthly event that attracts thousands of young, mostly Western tourists.

The boats collided and overturned before midnight Saturday, throwing passengers into the sea just off the island, the website of The Nation newspaper said. Two were reported missing and two other passengers suffered serious head injuries.

The 39 injured were rushed to hospitals in Surat Thani province.

The monthly parties on the island, 670 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of Bangkok, are rave-type gatherings fueled by drugs and alcohol and have become associated with crimes such as rape and theft because of their freewheeling atmosphere.