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Arson suspected in Phuket speedboat fire

PHUKET: The owner of six speedboats damaged by fire near Chalong Pier last month has called for police to speed up their investigation because he believes the fire was intentionally started.

By Darawan Naknakhon

Tuesday 3 May 2016, 05:44PM

The fire, which broke out before 3am on April 19, caused an estimated B25 million in damage to six speedboats belonging to Nikorn Marine Tours. (See story here.)

“Right now my family and I do not feel at ease because we are still in the dark about what happened that morning and to this day police still have no answers,” said Pisit Paphakityosapat of Nikorn Marine Tours.

Lt Col Kittisak Noopeung of the Provincial Forensic Police explained to The Phuket News, “We cannot conclude our investigation yet as we are waiting for the Forensic Science Division (in Bangkok) to conclude their findings.

“After we sent the evidence we collected from the damaged boats, we were told to wait one month for the test results,” he said.

Mr Pisit, who also currently serves as Deputy Mayor of Rawai, explained that five of his boats were rendered unsalvageable by the fire and one boat requires repairs.

“All boats are being kept at our company car park and no one has been allowed near them because we want the police to get all the evidence they need and find the cause of the fire,” he said.

“I do not believe the fire was an accident,” said Mr Pisit.

“There were so many suspicious circumstances surrounding the incident from the information we got from our guard who was injured by the fire… That night, we had only one man watching the boats due to the low tide that night. Normally we would have two men guard the area.

“Also, the CCTV recorded a motorbike passing by before the fire started and the spotlights in the area mysteriously stopped working the same time.

“I want police to wrap up their investigation as soon as possible. We were told by police that our guard is now facing negligence causing property damage,” he said.

The guard, Donsafad Pormin, 55, is still at Vachira Phuket Hospital recovering from serious burns to his body, Mr Pisit added.

Meanwhile, new speedboats are already en route to Phuket so Nikorn Marine can resume full services, he said.

“New boats are on their way to replace the damaged boats. We will have three replaced by June 25. Six of our boats were damaged by the fire, but we will continue to provide the best and quality service to our customer,” Mr Pisit added.



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