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Task Force of Chinese Embassy at Scene for Search and Rescue

On July 6, Mr. Li Chunlin, Counsellor and Consul-General of the Chinese Embassy in Thailand, led the task force to Phuket and joined the task force led by Deputy Consul-General Jin Yilin of the Chinese Consulate General in Songkhla in a meeting with the governor of Phuket, Vice Minister of Transportation of Thailand and military officials at the Rescue Command Center.

Li Chunlin said that the Chinese government is highly concerned about this incident. Ambassador Lyu Jian, who was in China to report on his work, will arrive at Phuket tonight. An inter-agency joint working group coordinated by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also arrive tonight. We ask the Thai side to mobilize all possible forces and waste no time in searching and rescuing Chinese citizens, attend to the rescued Chinese tourists, treat and cure the injured, find out the cause of the incident as soon as possible and keep China informed of the developments of the search and rescue operation.

Task forces of the Embassy and Consulate General then went to the site of the incident by Thai naval vessel.

According to the governor of Phuket, on July 6, the Thai side dispatched over a dozen ships and five helicopters for the search and rescue. Multiple pilots from the Thai air force are on standby to make sure that the operation will carry on. The area in the vicinity of the islands where the boats capsized, the surrounding waters and the spot where the boats sank are three major areas for the search and rescue.

Up till now, 78 Chinese tourists have been rescued, 16 found dead and 33 still missing. The search and rescue is going on.

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