British woman among survivors of Thai flash flood

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Bangkok, Oct 15 (UNI) A 21-year-old British woman survived 20 hours on a ledge in a cave at a southern Thai resort where eight people were drowned following flash flood.

Helena Christina Carrol was among a group of eight West European tourists who had traveled by boat to the cave in Khao Sok national park in Surat Thani district over the weekend.

A 37-year-old German woman in the group did not go into the cave and is the only survivor in the group. Two Thai guides accompanying the group were also drowned in the flooding news reports from Surat Thani said today.

The victims include four members of a Swiss family, the British woman's British companion, the German woman's 10-year-old son and the Thai guides.

The Nam Talu cave in Khao Sok in Ban Ta Khun district has waters running 500 metres deep. Its main chamber has a width ranging from five to ten metres stretching some 700 metres through which tourists walk.

According to the British survivor, the tourists had tried to climb up the ledge on the cave wall when the flash flood occurred but were unable to escape as the water level rapidly rose from just 50 cm to 10 metres.

Thai Deputy Interior Minister Banyat Chansena, Tourism and Sports Minister Suvit Yodmani and British embassy staff flew to Surat Thani yesterday. An inquiry has been ordered to determine if national park authorities had warned tourists in advance of likely flash floods during the rainy season.

However, the National Parks department chief Chalermsak Wanichsombat said park officials had warned the group not to go into the cave but the guides insisted.


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