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Thailand: Cargo boat caught fire in Phuket

Christian Fernsby |
The captain of a coastal freighter was injured and much of the cargo destroyed by a fire that began in the engine room as the boat was about the depart from a pier in Muang district late yesterday night.

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Thiamta Palanukorn, the vessel's manager, told police the fire began about 11pm as the MV O Palanukorn 1, which was loaded with construction materials, was about to depart from Jiarawanich boat pier, in tambon Rassada, for the Phi Phi islands in Krabi.

When the captain, Wirut Chinkan, 39, started the engine, sparks from the battery ignited nearby materials and the fire quickly spread, engulfing the boat, Mrs Thiamta said.

Mr Wirut sustained burns in his face and legs. He was rushed to a hospital for treatment.

Fire engines and crews and volunteers from the Kusoltham Phuket Foundation fought the fire. Severe damage was caused to the boat and the cargo before the flames were extinguished.

Actual damage was being assessed. Police were investigating the cause.

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