Ferry explosion near miss

PUBLISHED: 09:00 11 June 2015

Hannah Lakin, who missed a boat which later exploded due to the theft of her purse.

Hannah Lakin, who missed a boat which later exploded due to the theft of her purse.

Archant

A healthcare assistant travelling through Indonesia was left both cursing and praising her luck after a stolen bag meant that she missed a boat that later exploded.

Hannah Lakin, aged 22, from Cheddar, was due to catch a ‘fast-ferry’ to the Gili Islands in Bali on Saturday but had to cancel her voyage after two thieves stole a bag containing her money and phone, meaning she could not pay to board the boat.

She said: “I was walking home from a friend’s hotel at night when two men on a motorcycle drove up next to me.

“They grabbed my bag which was positioned securely across my body and pulled it with a lot of force, taking me with it.

“The strength of the pull broke the strap and left my neck cut and bruised.

“My first thought was absolute shock and disbelief.

“I was with a group of German friends I had met and one had a scooter, so we tried to chase them but by then they were long gone.”

According to The Australian Associated Press, 19 out of 129 of the ferry’s passengers received injuries including burns and broken bones after a fuel line ruptured and the boat’s engine exploded, setting the vessel on fire.

A local water police official said: “Two explosions hit the vessel 30 minutes after it set off from the port of Lombok, with the second explosion breaking the windows and hitting the passengers.”

Passengers from France, Italy, the US, Australia and New Zealand were among the injured.

Hannah only discovered what had happened the next day.

She said: “I found out about the boat explosion through a travelling friend who knew I was planning on being in that area who was checking that I wasn’t hurt.

“I then looked it up on a local news website and saw that it was the boat I was supposed to be on.

“I was in total shock, but suddenly strangely grateful for the theft.”

Hannah’s mother, Tracey, spoke of her relief at her daughter’s missed excursion.

She said: “The news of the boat trip sent shivers down my spine, to think Hannah could have been aboard, and consequently admitted to hospital or worse.

“It gives you a dreadful shock but at the same time we are so grateful that she is safe.”

Hannah added: “I will look at a so-called ‘bad’ situation very differently from now on.

“You never know what could have happened if circumstances were had played out differently.”

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