Death toll rises to 26 in Ayutthaya boat tragedy

An extensive search continued this morning for three other people who went missing after the Ayutthaya boat tragedy in the Chao Phraya river on Sunday, as authorities now put the death toll at 26.

Search team comprising over a hundred men scouting along the river and both banks in boats and on foot from the sunken boat in front of Wat Sanamchai temple down to Bang Pa-in and Bang Sai which is 30 kilometres away this morning.

But by late in the morning, they have not yet found the missing three persons.

They were identified as Mrs Thongbai Kantharalak, 89, and two boys, Apinan Sangkam, 2, and Apilak Boonyarak, 3.

Last night and at 2.30am today they recovered six bodies, some as far as over 5 kilometres from the scene.

Of the 26 victims died from drowning at the scene and at Ayutthaya hodpital, 20 were female, and 6 were male.

11 others remained at hospital and needed close monitoring.

The boat driver was arrested and now was facing three counts of charges, including driving with expired licence, overloading and carelessness causing injury or death.

The police are considering charges against the boat owner after the boat has no insurance coverage for passengers.

The Marine Department will salvage the sunken boat today as there might be bodies of the missing victims underneath the boat..

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)