China’s President Xi Jinping called for all-out efforts to find and rescue missing people and treat the injured, after two boats with Chinese tourists on board sank in a storm off Thailand's southern resort island of Phuket, according to China Daily.
Of the 133 tourists that the two boats carried, 127 were Chinese, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said on Friday. Of the Chinese tourists, 78 were rescued, 33 are missing and 16 were found dead, Lu said, adding that some of the injured had been rushed to the hospital.
The Thai Embassy to Beijing earlier set up a desk to facilitate travel for the victim’s relatives to Thailand as well as provide information on the accident and rescue work, Thai Foreign Ministry spokesperson Busadee Santipitaks said.
The Thai consulate in Beijing and Shanghai opened during the weekend to process visa applications to facilitate the travel to Thailand, she said.
Visa on arrival service also opened for Chinese at Thai airports, especially Phuket airport, she said.
Meanwhile, the Thai Foreign Ministry dispatched more officials to provide help to families and victims of the Phoenix dive yacht.
Officials from the ministry would help take care of a delegation of Chinese officials and reporters, who travelled to Phuket, following the accident, the spokesperson said.
The Phoenix and The Senereta boats capsized on Thursday afternoon while returning from Koh Racha to the island resort of Phuket. While passengers on board the Senereta were safe, serious casualties occurred at the Phoenix, which carried 93 passengers and 12 crew members.