Identification of 12-year-old Israeli girl killed in Thailand completed

By DANA SOMBERG/MAARIV HASHAVUA
April 13, 2015 14:10
1 minute read.

 
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The identification of Shani Merril, the 12-year-old girl who was killed last week in a fire on a ferry boat during a family vacation in Thailand, was completed on Wednesday.

The process was completed with the help of DNA samples the Foreign Ministry helped bring to Israel from Thailand.

Merril was the only one of 114 people aboard not to be rescued after a fire broke out on the boat in southern Thailand.

The girl was there with her parents and two siblings to celebrate her bat mitzva.

The ferry, The Onang Princess 5, was en route to Phuket from Krabi when the fire broke out at approximately 3:30 p.m., just after Shani went to use the bathroom. The blaze broke out in the ferry’s engine room, which is close to the bathroom.

The girl is believed to have been overcome by smoke and been unable to escape the ferry, which quickly burned and sank.

Nearby boats helped evacuate the ferry’s passengers and crew and take them to nearby Onang Island.

“The ship burned very quickly, so the close proximity of the boats helped with evacuation,” said the manager of the local maritime office, Vishai Komwong.

A large contingent of police from Krabi continued to search for the girl into the night, even after the ship sank to a depth of 18 meters, according to Nati Hadad, an Israeli search and rescue worker stationed in Ko Samui.

The transfer of her body home to Israel was delayed by a three-day Thai festival.

Local police, as well as Israel’s Foreign Ministry and embassy in Thailand, are investigating the incident.

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