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Bali tourist boat blast kills foreigner, injures 14 others

INDONESIA: An explosion hit a tourist boat as it departed the Indonesian resort island of Bali today (Sept 15), killing one foreign woman and injuring 14 other foreigners, police said.

accidents, death, police, transport, marine,


Thursday 15 September 2016, 02:41PM

The speedboat was leaving Bali for the nearby holiday island of Gili Trawangan (pictured). Photo: Public Domain
The speedboat was leaving Bali for the nearby holiday island of Gili Trawangan (pictured). Photo: Public Domain

The blast in the speedboat carrying about 30 passengers appeared to have happened in the fuel tank, said police, adding it was not caused by a bomb. Indonesia has a poor maritime safety record and there have been similar incidents in the past where no foul play was detected.

Authorities said the woman killed on the boat, which was heading for the nearby holiday island of Gili Trawangan, was a foreigner but that they were verifying her identity before releasing more details.

The dead woman and the 14 injured tourists were taken to medical centres on the island, with TV footage showing dazed, bloodied passengers lying on hospital beds and being carried into ambulances on stretchers.

A manifest provided by authorities showed that among the passengers were 17 Britons, and smaller numbers of foreigners from France, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and Spain.

The boat, which was also carrying four crew, and had just left Padang Bai port in eastern Bali this morning when the blast occurred.

“The explosion happened five minutes after the boat departed,” local police chief Sugeng Sudarso told AFP, adding the vessel had been about 200 metres from the port.

“One female passenger died from head injuries.”

Teams of police and the bomb squad were initially deployed to investigate but Sudarso later ruled out a bomb as the cause.

“Based on the testimony (from passengers) and from what I saw at the scene, the explosion came from the fuel tank,” he said.

“Above it was a battery, maybe there was a short circuit that affected the fuel tank.”

The Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is heavily dependent on ferry services but the industry has a poor safety record and fatal accidents are common.

Last year, dozens of tourists were injured when small explosions hit a ferry crossing between Bali and the neighbouring holiday island of Lombok.

The explosions were an accident and thought to have come from the fuel tank of the ferry, which was carrying 129 passengers, most of them tourists.

However fears have also been growing in Indonesia that radicals who have headed to fight with the Islamic State (IS) group in the Middle East could encourage supporters back home to launch attacks, or may launch attacks themselves on their return.

In January, a gun and suicide bomb attack claimed by IS in the capital Jakarta left four attackers and four civilians dead.

Bali has been attacked by Islamic radicals before. In 2002, more than 200 people, mostly foreign tourists, were killed in bombings on the island.

A sustained crackdown following the Bali bombings had weakened the most dangerous networks but IS has proved a potent new rallying cry for the country’s extremists.

A pocket of Hinduism in Muslim-majority Indonesia, Bali attracts millions of foreign visitors every year due to its palm-fringed, tropical beaches and picture-postcard temples.



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Kurt | 16 September 2016 - 11:25:44

The explosion came from the fuel tank.
Nothing to do with engines.
To use diesel engines is much safer (diesel fuel).

Same story as the explosion/fire of the burned speedboats at Chalong beach a while ago at night. (there were no running engines that time!)
It has nothing to do with the engines.
It is all about the flash point of petrol.

The difference between petrol flash point and diesel flash point is 'safety'.
Therefore  diesel engines recommended. 

Not going for optimal safety? Try a accident.

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Joe12 | 15 September 2016 - 22:16:27

Kurt... diesel or petrol powered is a preference for the owner. It is not mandated in law to use a particular engine in any country, nor the materials from which they built. Modern injected petrol engines are far safer than the carburetted engines of the past. Even car engine can ignite unexpectedly so is not confined just to boats. Lamborghini is good case in point.

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Kurt | 15 September 2016 - 15:17:10

Astonishing, all over here they are still allowed to use car fuel instead of much more safe diesel engines.

Despite many accidents/explosions, nothing improves that government safety thinking concerning tourists.
Tourist ar here just money pigs.

Thailand also has a poor safety standard with all these plywood speedboats with untrained/uncertified boatmen sailing them. ( they call them selve: captain)

Lesson: never go on these boats, Not there, not in Thailand as well.
It can cost you your life, or be disable for the rest of your life.
Not worth. is it?
Remember, all thai speed boats use car fuels. No diesel oil.

What you not accept by law in your own country, do not accept it in countries here as well.
Very clear. Yes?

By not boarding them, not buy tickets, you can contribute for safety of your countryman in future.
Do not expect thai initiatives to handle this unsafe matter until it hits their pockets.

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