The number of people who lost their lives in a Thailand boat accident off the coast of Phuket island has increased to 44 after rescue personnel recovered three more bodies from the Andaman Sea.
Phuket Governor Norapat Plodthong has informed that two of the three bodies were sent to the hospital for verification to ascertain whether they were the victims of the Phoenix boat that drowned in the rough sea on 5 July.
At the time of the Thailand boat accident, it was sailing to a small island for snorkelling with 101 people and 12 crew members on-board, including 89 tourists, reported bangkokpost.com.
All the tourists on-board were Chinese nationals, apart from two.
Thailand Naval Area 3 commander Somnuek Prempramote told Reuters that: “Three more bodies were found. One found near Phi Phi island.”
Prempramote also said that 54 people have survived the accident and three are still missing.
The government plans to continue the search operations depending on the weather conditions and has postponed its plan to lift the sunken vessel from underwater.
Prempramote added: “On moving the boat to see whether there are bodies underneath, this task will need to be assessed to see if it affects evidence in this case.
“We will continue to consider this option.”
Police have charged the captain of the Phoenix for negligence that resulted in death. However, the captain refused the charges.
Two other boats also capsized in the same day and area where Phoenix drowned, but passengers of those vessels were brought safely to shore.