The Bangkok Post Points Its Finger

'Mechanics Should Sit Up All Night'

Bangkok, March 31, 2002


'Lack of Care' Sank Cruiser
Construction Firm to Salvage the Ship
by Porpot Changyawa

The sinking of the Oriental Queen was caused partly by unprofessional care, said a Harbour Department source.

The source said the luxury cruiser could have been saved if mechanics rather than security guards had been on duty when the ship went down on Friday morning. "A boat mechanic or a specialist would have suspected that something was wrong when the cruiser started to tip and submerge," he said.

The cruiser is sitting on the bed of Chao Phraya river, some 30 metres under water. It sank in 45 minutes.

An official at Bang Rak fire station, next to the Oriental Hotel, said the river traffic carrying on as normal.

Under the Thai Water Navigation Act, any vessel disrupting traffic must be towed away at once.

A staff member from the Oriental Hotel said construction firm Ital-Thai Co Ltd would take care of salvaging the boat. It is not known when the operation will start.

The Harbour Department had asked an oil trapper boat to stand by in the event of an oil leak.

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