Israeli girl missing after tour boat catches fire and sinks 

A 12-year-old Israeli girl is missing  a tourist boat, in which she was travelling to Phuket from Thailand’s southern province of Krabi, caught fire and eventually sank late Monday afternoon. About 100 other foreign tourists were safely rescued.

The boat, named Ao Nang Princess 5, was carrying the passengers from Nopparat Thara and Rai Lay piers to Phuket. The boat’s skipper, Mr. Sommai Saichu, reportedly told Muang Krabi police that, about five kilometres from Rai Lay beach, he heard a loud explosion in the engine compartment and a fire broke out.

As the fire spread rapidly, he told all passengers to put on their life preservers and move to the bow area of the vessel.  Fortunately, fishing boats in the vicinity rushed to the rescue and managed to pluck all the passengers and crew to safety, with the exception of the 12-year old Israeli girl. A search for the missing girl is underway.

Police suspect that the girl was in the toilet, which is close to the engine room, when the explosion occurred.

The boat was reported to have sunk at about 6 pm.

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