Bangkok water taxi engine explodes, injuring 65 passengers

AP News
Posted: Mar 05, 2016 6:30 AM
Bangkok water taxi engine explodes, injuring 65 passengers

BANGKOK (AP) — At least 65 passengers were injured Saturday when the engine of a Bangkok water taxi exploded as the boat approached its dock, police said.

Among the injured were three foreigners, including a Japanese male and two women from Myanmar, according to the city's Erawan medical emergency center. The rest were identified as Thai nationals.

The boat was ferrying about 70 people on an early morning route through Bangkok's canals in a neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of the city, said police Lt. Col. Chaithanan Jirapiyaset.

The explosion occurred as the boat reached the Wat Thepleela Pier, in one of the capital's working-class neighborhoods, causing panic that prompted several passengers to jump to the pier or into the water for safety.

The Erawan center said that at least 65 people were treated for injuries at several of Bangkok's hospitals, with varying degrees of burns.

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The boat was one of many commuter vessels that ply the city's canals and waterways. Many of the boats are old and often overcrowded, but accidents are not common.

Police said it was not immediately clear what caused the engine to explode.