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49 tourists and crew members missing after boat capsizes in Phuket

Gorkha Post

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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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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

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Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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