Tourist boat explodes in southern Thailand, injuring 16

Sixteen people were injured when a speedboat carrying 31 passengers exploded in southern Thailand on Sunday, authorities told Reuters.

Most of the people onboard the boat, which was near Phi Phi Le island at the time of the explosion, were Chinese tourists.

When it caught fire, passengers jumped into the water, said Police Lt. Santipot Nguanruang of the Phi Phi island police station. People on nearby boats pulled them from the water, he said.

The injured included 14 passengers from China and two Thai crew members. Santipot said.

Smoke rises from a tourist speedboat after its explosion in Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, January 14, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media.

Smoke rises from a tourist speedboat after its explosion in Phi Phi Islands, Thailand, January 14, 2018 in this still image taken from a video obtained from social media. (FACEBOOK/THOTSAPHON PHANOMTARA/via REUTERS)

Both Phuket and Phi Phi islands are major tourist destinations in Thailand's south. Tourism is a major revenue earner for Thailand, which hosted an estimated 35 million visitors last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.