CALLS FOR JUS­TICE IN PHUKET BOAT DIS­AS­TER

Southeast Asia Globe - - Panorama -

Fam­i­lies are de­mand­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion af­ter at least 48 Chi­nese tourists died when gi­ant waves caps is ed a boat off of Phuk et .“Icanh ear the voice of my daugh­ter scream­ing. You can see that no­body wore life jack­ets," said a griev­ing mother as she showed a video by her daugh­ter to a re­porter. Sur­vivors say the boat op­er­a­tors ig­nored weather con­di­tions and didn't re­quire life vests, and that the boat lacked ad­e­quate emer­gency es­cape routes. “It’s shak­ing vi­o­lently, and I’m feel­ing very dizzy. I want to go ashore im­me­di­ately,” pas­sen­ger Chen De Qiong, thought tobe among the dead, mess aged her fam­ily dur­ing the in­ci­dent. Both of her chil­dren she was on hol­i­day with are also feared dead, but only the body of her daugh­ter has been found so far. The woman's sis­ter was in­con­solable: “How would you feel about it? Which fam­ily can bear such a blow ?" she told the

South China Morn­ing Post. "There are loop­holes every­where that caused this tragedy... I just want to seek jus­tice for my fam­ily. This is not a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter. This tragedy is man-made and could have been avoided." Thai Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Gen. Prawit W on gsuwanw as slammed on­line af­ter he blamed the ac­ci­dent on Chi­nese tour op­er­a­tors: "This ac­ci­dent was en­tirely Chi­nese harm­ing Chi­nese. The boats were theirs, and they ig­nored warn­ings and in­sisted on sail­ing out to sea. We weren' t re­spon­si­ble for that – they were. They have to re­solve this them­selves."

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