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Monday
July 2018
4:31 AM IST
News Headlines
Rajinikanth Supports 'One India, One Election' Proposal        Trump asked me to sue EU over Brexit, says Theresa May        Haiti prime minister resigns after deadly unrest        Mukesh Ambani beats Alibaba's Jack Ma to become richest man in Asia        Djokovic beats Anderson, wins 4th Wimbledon title        Thailand Open Super 500: PV Sindhu loses to Nozomi Okuhara in final        France clinches World Cup with win over Croatia        H-1B visa alert: Donald Trump makes things worse for Indian techies        World Cup: Belgium beat England 2-0 to finish 3rd        PV Sindhu makes final of Thailand Open, Okuhara awaits        Angelique Kerber defeats Serena Williams to win Wimbledon 2018        Former A.P. Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy returns to Congress        If Delhi tries to break PDP, outcome will be dangerous: Mehbooba Mufti        Former PM Nawaz Sharif, daughter Maryam arrested for corruption in Lahore        Social media hub like creating surveillance state: SC        World Cup: Deflated England, Belgium get ready for third place clash        First time in winter: FIFA confirms 2022 World Cup to be held between November and December in Qatar        Mental strength carried Croatia to World Cup final, says Lovren        Kohli currently best batsman because Smith not there: Ponting        Rupee up 19 paise against dollar ahead of key macro data release        
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International News
Toll from deadly Thai tourist boat sinking rises to 41
 
Phuket (Thailand), Jul 7 (AFP) Recovery divers have pulled 41 bodies from the sea off the Thai holiday island of Phuket, officials said today, 48 hours after a boat capsized in rough waters killing dozens of Chinese passengers.

Many of the dead were found drifting in the sea, still wearing life jackets, several kilometres from where the Phoenix went down after being hit by five-metre (15-foot) high waves in a storm on Thursday evening.

It is one of the worst boat disasters in the recent history of Thailand, a nation with a poor health and safety track record despite being heavily dependent on tourism.

The death toll rose to 41 today, with 15 still missing, according to the Phuket province public relations department.

Seventeen Chinese divers joined the operation today to recover bodies as conflicting figures emerged about the number of dead.

Phuket Governor Norraphat Plodthong had earlier said that five bodies were found today, in addition to 37 bodies recovered yesterday.

The triple decked Phoenix was carrying 105 passengers, mostly Chinese tourists, when it sank on the way back from a popular snorkelling spot.

The Phuket provincial government has said the island's morgue is full, with Chinese authorities requesting 40 further refrigeration units.

Some 48 people -- passengers and crew -- were rescued on Thursday, while a Chinese woman was plucked from the churning waters yesterday and rushed to hospital in Phuket after spending the night in the water.

Divers yesterday reported seeing "over 10 bodies" floating inside the hull of the boat, which is submerged 40 metres below the surface of the Andaman Sea.

Thai navy Rear Admiral Charoenphon Khumrasee has said hopes are now dwindling of finding more people alive.

"Of course we'll continue searching but the chances of survival are low. We will wait for the bodies to float to the top on their own," he said today.

China's ambassador to Thailand, who travelled to Phuket, said Beijing had sent two search and rescue teams to help the Thai authorities.

"We aim to find the missing as soon as possible, as well as provide assistance to the injured, and family members of those involved, as well as help them make preparations for the next step," he said.

The Phoenix was among several boats that appeared to have ignored a warning in place since Wednesday against taking passengers on day-trips to the islands that dot the seas off the tourist magnet of Phuket.

It sank in rough weather a few kilometres off the coast of Koh He, an islet known for its coral formations.

Several other vessels hit trouble late Thursday, but all of their passengers were rescued.

Thailand is already in the global spotlight for a dramatic rescue mission in the north of the country, after 12 boys and their football coach were trapped in a cave complex.

Last year 9.8 million Chinese tourists visited Thailand, with five million more arriving between January and May this year.


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