Blast on Bangkok water taxi injures 60

BANGKOK: At least 60 passengers were injured early Saturday when the engine of a Bangkok water taxi exploded as the boat approached its dock, police said.

Among the injured were three foreigners, including a Japanese male and two women from Myanmar, according to the city's Erawan medical emergency center. The rest were identified as Thai nationals.

The boat was ferrying about 70 people on an early morning route through the city's canals in a neighborhood on the eastern outskirts of Bangkok, said police Lt. Col. Chaithanan Jirapiyaset.

 He said the explosion occurred as the boat reached the Wat Thepleela Pier, in one of the capital's working-class neighborhood, causing panic that prompted several passengers to jump into the water for safety.

The Erawan center said that at least 60 people were treated for injuries at several of the city's hospitals. There were no reports of deaths.

The boat was one of many commuter vessels that ply the city's canals and waterways. Many of the boats are old and often overcrowded but accidents are not common.

Police said it was not immediately clear what caused the engine to explode.