Video: Overnight ferry catches fire in Thailand, 108 people rescued

Several panicked passengers, aboard a night ferry that caught fire in the waters of Thailand on Thursday, jumped in the river to save themselves.

Smoke rises from a ferry in Surat Thani province, Thailand. (AP)

All the 108 passengers aboard the ferry, where a raging fire broke out, were safely evacuated.

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As the overnight ferry from Surat Thani province neared the island of Koh Tao, a well-known tourist hotspot off Thailand’s coastline, one of the passengers aboard the vessel heard a distinct crackling noise and smelled smoke, as reported by AP.

According to a Facebook post by Surat Thani officials, the ferry carried 108 individuals, with 97 being passengers. The public relations department of the province confirmed that all the people were rescued, and no casualties occurred, the Associated Press report said.

Footage captured passengers swiftly exiting the ferry’s cabin while donning life vests, as dense black smoke engulfed the vessel. The fire eventually consumed the entire ferry. In some of the viral videos, heavy smoke was seen taking over the ferry.

Officials, speaking to AP, said that the fire was eventually brought under control and it began in the engine. However, the cause was being investigated.

As per reports, the ferry did not sink in the water.

Ferries from Surat Thani to Koh Tao, which is 100 km from the coast, carry commuters as well as tourists.

Speaking to AP, Maitree Promjampa, a Surat Thani resident who takes the ferry regularly, saw the smoke and fire within five minutes. He said, “We could barely get the life vests in time. It was chaotic. People were weeping … I also teared up.”

Maitree added that numerous boats came to the rescue of passengers aboard the ferry within 20 minutes. However, as the boats couldn’t come too close due to the fear of explosions, passengers had to jump into the sea in order to be rescued.

Several viral videos showed passengers jumping in the water with their life jackets on. Maitree said, “Everyone had to help themselves.”

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