Six tourists, including two Russians and a Chinese, were killed today when an overcrowded ferry with about 200 people on board sank near the popular resort town of Pattaya. The double-decker ferry left Koh Lan island for the 30-minute trip to Pattaya this evening, said Police Colonel Suwan Cheawnavinthavat. The ferry, carrying Thai and foreign tourists, developed some engine problem and the passengers on the first deck ran to the ground floor, causing the ferry to tilt and eventually sink. "Witnesses said there were neither enough tubes nor life vests on the ferry.
Some of those who cannot swim had to cling onto coolers or ice containers until rescuers came," police said. Two Russians, a Chinese and three Thais were killed while 15 people were injured in the accident, media reports said. The rest of the passengers were rescued, including a 9-year-old Russian boy who was in intensive care at a hospital. None of the others were hospitalised. The boat was overcrowded and had about 200 people instead of 150 the boat was adept to carry.