speed boat accident off the coast of the Thai resort island of Phuket left a number of Chinese tourists injured over the weekend.
The speed boat crashed straight into a small oil tanker that was refueling a waiting yacht on Saturday. Police have so far blamed “some sort of engine or control malfunction” for the accident, according to The Thaiger. It’s not clear what exactly that means, though the boat captain was apparently unable to steer.
A total of 11 Chinese tourists, including two children and a pregnant woman, were on the boat along with the captain and one crew member. All were injured though none seriously so.
This comes after a tour boat disaster last July off Phuket which resulted in the deaths of 47 Chinese tourists, leading to thousands of Chinese travelers canceling their hotel reservations.
Afterward, Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Gen. Prawit Wongsuwan, infamously declared that the accident was a case of “Chinese people harming Chinese people,” referring to how the boat was run by a Chinese firm who decided to sail out into the sea despite weather warnings.
“Why does it have anything to do with the Thai tourism industry? This is on them,” Gen. Prawit continued. “The boat was theirs. They went out to sea against the warnings. So it’s not our responsibility. It’s theirs. Let them solve the problem.”
The deputy junta chairman struck a much softer tone last month, inviting 10,000 Chinese tourists to eat five tons of mango sticky rice in what would be a Guinness World Record-breaking feast titled “We Care For You.”
This Spring Festival holiday, Thailand remained the top international destination for Chinese tourists.
[Images via The Thaiger]