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Young child dies in fire on board tourist-packed Thailand ferry

No Irish citizens were thought to be on board.

A 12-YEAR-OLD Israeli girl who was reported missing after a blaze destroyed a ferry packed with tourists in southern Thailand has been found dead.

Divers discovered her body trapped inside the toilet of the vessel a day after more than 100 foreigners were plucked from the Andaman Sea in a dramatic rescue when the ferry travelling between the town of Krabi and Phuket island caught fire.

“Divers found her body at around 11am inside the toilet at the rear of the boat,” according to Lieutenant General Decha Butnampetch, southern region police commander.

He added she was the sole fatality from the accident and that her family has been informed.

Initially Krabi police had said everyone on board was safe but the Israeli girl was later listed as missing.

The search was called off due to strong currents and darkness after the sudden blaze Wednesday afternoon before resuming this morning.

Among the passengers pulled from the sea were nationals from Britain, Switzerland, the United States and China.

The Department of Foreign Affairs say they are not aware of any Irish tourists who were on board the ferry.

Accidents involving boats, buses and other forms of public transport are common in Thailand, where safety standards are generally poor.

Overcrowded tourist ferries and other boats are notorious for capsizing, catching fire or hitting rocks, especially during peak tourist season when vessels are pushed to their limit.

In November 2013 three tourists were among six dead when an overcrowded ferry sank off the coast of the popular resort of Pattaya.

© – AFP 2014 with reporting from Daragh Brophy

Read: Irish man found dead in Thailand >

Read: Trial begins of Burmese men accused of killing two British tourists >

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