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49 tourists and crew members missing after boat capsizes in Phuket

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BANGKOK — At least forty nine people are missing after a boat carrying 97 people, including Chinese tourists and Thai crew, capsized in rough seas off Thailand’s tourist island of Phuket, the Thai navy said on Thursday.

The boat was carrying dozens of Chinese tourists when it overturned, with the strong winds brought by the monsoon season bringing adverse weather conditions on the water.

Phuket governor Norapat Plodthong said 49 people were missing from a dive boat called Phoenix which was carrying 97 passengers.

The boat sank near Koh Heh. Most of the missing passengers were Chinese tourists. They also included a number of Russians.

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“Right now we are still looking for 49 people. We have helped 48 people from the capsized boat. We have sent boats to help,” said Rear Admiral Somnuk Prempramote, commander of the Royal Thai Navy Region 3.

Another two boats, including a yacht carrying 39 people, also capsized but its passengers have been brought to safety.

Thai media showed photos of people rescued from one of the boats in large rubber life rafts at sea, with fishing boats and churning water in the background.

Agencies

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6 men including hostel owner arrested over alleged rape of Russian tourist in Southern India

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NEW DELHI — Indian police have arrested six men including a hostel owner and a tourist guide on Thursday over the alleged gang rape of a 21-year-old Russian tourist in southern India, just a week after India’s tourism ministry launched a campaign aimed at persuading tourists that India was a safe place for women to visit.

The 21-year-old woman was found naked and unconscious on the floor of her hostel room early on Monday with bite marks on her face and arms earlier this week, media reports said. She is now being treated in hospital.

“Six men have been detained over the rape and drugging of the woman,” investigating officer Mangayar Karasi said.

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The woman, who was travelling on her own, had arrived in the town of Tiruvannamalai in Tamil Nadu state, 190 kilometres from Chennai, on last Thursday.

Those in custody included the hostel manger and her tourist guide, who told police he found her on the floor hours after they had consensual sex, another investigator said.

Local and foreign tourists flock to Tiruvannamalai for its 9th-century Annamalaiyar Temple, one of the largest Hindu temple complexes spread over 25 acres.

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