A double decker boat which was carrying more than 100 people collided with a concrete flood barrier killing at least 15 and injuring 46 and 10 people went missing. The boat capsized in the Chao Phraya river near Wat Sanamchai in Ayutthaya province, Thailand when it was carrying Muslim pilgrims for an annual Islamic religious ceremony from Nonthaburi to Ayutthaya on Sunday afternoon.
There were four boats in a procession from Talad Kwan in Nonthaburi province to Takai masjid in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district for the ceremony. The incident happened at around 4 pm, local time as the passengers were returning to Nonthaburi, a city to the northwest of the capital, Bangkok when the leading boat struck a dike in front of Wat Sanamchai and slowly went down in vertical position.
The cause of this accident is still under investigation. ThaiPBS quoted Harbor Department official Surasak Sansombat as saying that the boat’s listed capacity was 50 passengers, and that it probably capsized from overloading and because there was a strong current in the river at the time.
10 of the injured people were in critical condition. The search operation was suspended when night fell Sunday, but was resumed once again this morning.
Rescue boats and fire-fighting vessels were rushed to the scene to pluck passengers from the sinking boat and from the river. The fate of the missing passengers remained unknown at press time as rescue workers scoured the river in search of bodies and survivors.