Bali boat blast: Spanish woman on honeymoon among dead

DENPASAR (Indonesia) • A Spanish woman on her honeymoon was killed in an explosion on a Bali tourist boat that left another foreigner dead and more than 20 injured, officials said yesterday.

The blast occurred shortly after the speedboat left the Indonesian holiday island on Thursday, smashing the rear window and sending debris flying. The vessel was carrying about 35 tourists, mostly European.

Officials say it was an accident probably caused by a problem with the fuel tank, and ruled out foul play on the island, which has seen bloody militant bombings in the past.

An Austrian woman died soon after the explosion. A second tourist died later from her injuries in hospital, and the authorities confirmed yesterday that the victim was a 29-year-old Spanish woman, whose husband was also hurt in the blast.

Ms Vanessa Pascual and her 31- year-old husband, who lived near Madrid, had been on their honeymoon, following their wedding at the start of the month, according to the local authorities in Spain.

"I can confirm that a Spanish woman died," Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said on local television. "Her husband is being operated on."

A total of 23 foreign tourists were injured in the explosion on the boat, which was also carrying nationals from countries including Britain, France, Italy and Portugal.

The speedboat, manned by four crew members, had just left Padang Bai port in Bali on Thursday morning and was en route to the holiday island of Gili Trawangan when the blast took place.

Yesterday, Bali police were examining the scene of the accident and questioning the crew and some of the foreign passengers.

Police spokesman Anak Agung Ngurah Sedana said they were trying to determine the cause of the accident and assess whether negligence was to blame.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2016, with the headline 'Bali boat blast: Spanish woman on honeymoon among dead'. Print Edition | Subscribe