12-year-old Israeli girl killed in boat fire while on vacation in Thailand

Girl was only one of 114 people aboard not to be rescued.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
April 8, 2015 18:31
1 minute read.
Thialand boat fire

Fire on ferry in Thailand which killed 12-year-old girl. (photo credit: KO SAMUI SEARCH AND RESCUE)

 
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A 12-year-old Israeli girl died when a fire broke out on a ferry boat in southern Thailand on Tuesday, Ma’ariv reported. The girl was on the boat with her family making a bat mitzva trip during the Passover vacation.

The ferry, The Onang Princess 5, was en route to Phuket from Krabi when the fire broke out at approximately 3:30 p.m.

An Israeli couple was aboard with their three children, one of whom, the 12-year-old, went to use the bathroom just before the fire broke out in the ferry’s engine room, which is close to the bathroom.

The girl is believed to have choked from the smoke and been unable to escape the ferry, which quickly burned and sank. The rest of the 114 passengers and crew aboard were rescued.

Nearby fishing boats and motor boats helped evacuate the sinking ferry of its 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. Local police, as well as Israel’s Foreign Ministry and embassy in Thailand, are investigating the incident.

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