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.)
“We do not think that the boats were set on fire intentionally, but we will wait for forensic police to conclude their findings,” Capt Wuthiwat Liangboonjinda of the Chalong Police told The Phuket News today (May10)
“The boats have no insurance, so setting them on fire to get insurance money is out of the question,” he added.
Capt Wuthiwat confirmed his officers were investigating a fuel drum found on board one of the scorched speedboats.
“One of the boats did have a fuel drum on board when it caught fire, but the owner said all his boats had one. Hopefully, forensic police will be able to tell us whether it had fuel in it or if it was the source of the explosion that people heard,” he said.
“The guard, Donsafad Pormin, 55, admitted that he used a Zipo lighter to light a cigarette in the boat at one time, but he did not clarify whether this was how the fire started,” Capt Wuthiwat added.
“We are still looking into this,” he said.
Pisit Paphakityosapat of Nikorn Marine Tours has called for police to speed up their investigation because he believes the fire was intentionally started. (See story here.)
Mr Pisit, who also currently serves as Deputy Mayor of Rawai, told The Phuket News today, “I am not sure what is taking police so long to conclude their findings. All evidence, including CCTV footage in the area, has been handed to them.
“Most our boats have fuel drums and that did not cause the explosion, I believe it was something else,” he added.
“And I don’t understand why the guard lighting a cigarette would be the centre of this investigation. Those guys smoke all the time when they walk past the area, and we’ve never had a problem.” Mr Pisit said.