Thai rescuers work to help survivors of a capsized ferry on September 18, 2016.

Story highlights

NEW: 26 Thai Muslims killed in the fatal crash

Thai tourist boat was "overcrowded" when it capsized

Three people are facing initial charges

Bangkok, Thailand CNN  — 

A tourist boat carrying 150 people that capsized Sunday was seriously “overcrowded” and piloted recklessly, a local official told CNN.

26 people, including one child, died after the boat capsized in a river in central Thailand, according to Police Maj. Thanat Saengaroon.

Three people are still believed to be missing in the Chao Praya River, in the province of Ayutthaya. Those killed were Thai Muslims returning from a religious ceremony to honor a famous local cleric.

Initial charges

Three people responsible for piloting the boat have been summoned for investigation and face initial charges that include reckless piloting, causing other people’s deaths and breaching boat registration licenses.

Under their current license, the boat drivers were allowed to carry no more than 50 passengers.

If found guilty, they will face a 10 year maximum prison sentence.


The two-deck vessel collided with a pillar on a bridge, the Bangkok Post reported.

The incident happened at around 4 p.m. (local time) as the passengers were returning to Nonthaburi, a city to the northwest of the capital, Bangkok.

The search operation was suspended when night fell Monday, but was resumed once again this morning.