Bangkok, March 30, 2002
Oriental Hotel Cruiser Sinks
by Porpot Changyawa
An investigation is underway after the Oriental Hotel's river cruiser "mysteriously" sank at its dock early yesterday.
The Oriental Queen, a 160-seater river cruiser, sank around 4 am yesterday within 45 minutes. It came as a great surprise to the hotel, said a hotel source.
"Everything happened very quickly," he said.
The cruiser was moored to the dock on the Chao Phaya river after returning from the routine luncheon cruise up the river to Ayuthaya province on Thursday evening.
The source said that the cruiser was believed to have a crack which could have been detected and fixed if the cruiser was in motion.
An official at the Harbour Department said that the Oriental Hotel had a good record for cruiser maintainance. In May last year the Oriental Queen went through a four-week overhaul, the source said.
There were no casualties as there were no passengers on board.
A team of harbour officials went to the site to place pontoons to warn passers-by.
The place where the cruiser sank was said to have caused no problem to traffic in the river as the cruiser is close to the river bank.
The Oriental Queen is one of two river cruisers of the Oriental Hotel.
The cruiser occasionally cruised the dinner route in Bangkok.
This is a regular route for Mae Ya Nang, the hotel's smaller cruiser with 38 seats.