PHANG NGA — A couple dozen tourists were relaxing Monday on an idyllic beach when three loud explosions were heard and, soon after, the boat that delivered them to the lagoon burst into flames, injuring one man still aboard.
The BB Sealion 9 suddenly went up in flames while anchored off Ao Mhan beach in the Takua Thung district of Phang Nga after unloading 20 tourists there from Phuket. Sukiflee Phromchai, a 30-year-old crewmember, was injured in the fire.
“The incident was due to a mechanical failure,” Sarayuth Thuntian, head of the Ao Phang Nga National Park said. “We were lucky no tourists were injured.”
Wanchart Oonkao, the boat’s pilot, said they had set out from from Laem Sai Pier on Phuket and had dropped the tourists off to relax on the beach. After everyone heard three loud explosions, flames appeared and consumed the vessel.
Sukiflee was onboard cleaning and suffered burns to his body but escaped. He is currently being treated at Thalang Hospital.
Police Capt. Jarat Lhaemparn said the flames started in the hull before engulfing the entire ship.
The boat was operated by tour company BB Sealion.
None of the tourists were injured and they continued their scheduled tour program.