Six dead after tourist ferry sinks off Pattaya resort in Thailand

Six dead after tourist ferry sinks off Pattaya resort in Thailand

Six dead after tourist ferry sinks off Pattaya resort in Thailand

Updated 4 November 2013, 10:32 AEST

At least six passengers, including three foreigners, have died after a packed tourist ferry sank off the Thai resort of Pattaya.

At least six passengers, including three foreigners, have died after a packed tourist ferry sank off the Thai resort of Pattaya.

Fifteen people were also seriously injured, according to police in Pattaya, a popular beach resort south of Bangkok renowned for its racy nightlife.

"So far there are six dead from the boat," Pattaya police chief Colonel Suwarn Chiewnawintawat said.

Three Thais, a Chinese and two other - as yet unidentified - foreigners were among the dead.

Television footage showed stunned tourists being led to safety on shore where they were met by dozens of ambulances along Pattaya's neon-lit beachfront.

Playing down earlier reports that people remained trapped in the stricken vessel, Colonel Chiewnawintawat said all of the other 150 passengers had been plucked from the sea.

The double-decker ferry sank on Sunday afternoon near Koh Larn, a small island close to Pattaya which is popular with daytrippers.

Police said they are probing the cause of the accident, but local media reports say engine problems on the overcrowded ferry forced passengers to one side of the boat, which caused it to list and take on water.

Consular officials from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok say they're working with local authorities to find out if any Australians were on board.

Russian news reports said three Russians, including a child, had been taken to hospital in a serious condition.

"At least half of the passengers were Russian tourists," a Russian embassy official in Bangkok was quoted as saying by the Ria Novosti news agency.