Thailand speedboat accident: 2 Chinese tourists killed, 20 injured

Two speedboats packed with 62 tourists crashed off the coast of southern Thailand on Wednesday.

Two speedboats packed with 62 tourists crashed off the coast of southern Thailand on Wednesday, leaving at least two dead and more than 20 injured.

This is the third crash in the last two weeks involving speedboats that shuttle tourists to Thailand's resort islands.

The collision involved a boat carrying 36 passengers and another with 26 travelling mostly with Chinese and Korean tourists on a morning trip from the popular island of Phuket to the nearby smaller islands, Lt Col. Prasert Srikhunrat, deputy superintendent of Phuket's marine police, told Associated Press.

"It had to be that they were going too fast, that's why there was an accident. Luckily everyone was wearing life vests, or the number of fatalities would have been higher," he said. He added that the dead are Chinese tourists.

The marine police have rescued others and the operation took about 90 minutes to complete. The paramedics have treated the injured people and carried some away to the hospital on stretchers.

Tourism is the key source of revenue for the country. There were nearly 30 million foreign visitors in 2015. But the recent incidents might affect the tourism industry in the following years.

According to Thai news reports, last Sunday, a speedboat near the resort island of Koh Samet crashed into an anchored boat, injuring nearly 30 people on board. In late May; another tourist boat capsized carrying 32 tourists. Three people died in this accident.

Again on last February, there were similar incidents of tourists getting badly injured and killed in different accidents.