Disasters & Accidents

Five crew members found dead after Thai warship sinking

(Update: upgrades death toll, adds info on survivor, changes headline, lead)

Bangkok, Dec 20 (EFE).- Rescue teams have retrieved the bodies of five crew members of a Thai navy warship that sank over the weekend in the Gulf of Thailand, the Royal Thai Navy said Tuesday.

One sailor was also found alive, Commander-in-chief of the Royal Thai Navy Choengchai Chomchoengpaet said.

At a press conference, he said that four sailors were found dead and two were rescued alive, but that one of them had later died.

The authorities are still working to locate 24 missing crew members after the HTMS Sukhothai warship capsized two days ago.

The corvette ship was carrying 105 people when it capsized shortly before midnight on Sunday off the coast of Prachuap Khiri Khan province, southwest of Bangkok, during a storm that caused water to enter the engine room.

Lifeguards managed to rescue 75 people shortly after the vessel capsized, while another crew member was found alive on Monday floating in the sea thanks to their life jacket, authorities reported.

Preliminary reports said the ship had tilted on its side during the storm, causing water to enter an exhaust pipe and cutting the power to both the main and auxiliary engines.

The bailing system was also disabled, causing the crew to lose the vessel’s control, the provisional report said, adding that authorities hoped to gather more information to determine what happened

Another navy ship, the HTMS Kraburi, was the first to arrive at the scene of the incident to rescue some of the crew, some of whom sustained injuries.

This is the first sinking of a Thai warship since World War II when the HTMS Samui sank near Malaysia after being torpedoed by a US submarine, killing 31 sailors, the navy statement added.EFE


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