Three dead, two critical after tourist boat capsizes in Vietnam

Rescue forces have found the bodies of three victims, including two children, who were reported missing after a tourist boat capsized on a popular river in central Vietnam, officials said Sunday.

"Rescue forces have found all the three missing now," Dr Khuat Viet Hung, Executive Vice Chairman of National Traffic Safety Committee told dpa. "One of the bodies was found near the accident site but two others were found very far away."

The victims included a 4-year-old boy and his 7-year-old sister, as well as a 47-year-old man, Hung said.

The accident occurred around 9 pm Saturday, when a leisure vessel travelling on the Han River in the coastal city of Da Nang capsized, Major General Ngo Quy Duc said.

Da Nang authorities verified that 56 passengers were on the tourist boat, which was allowed to carry 28. The captain of the boat, who has been detained, did not have a legitimate licence, they said.

The chairman of Da Nang city, Huynh Duc Tho, said 53 people were rescued as of 6 am Sunday (2300 GMT Saturday). Reports at 1 am Sunday said 32 people had been rescued.  

Among those rescued were four Malaysians, as well as a 47-year-old man in critical condition. A Vietnamese man was also reported to be rescued in serious condition.

None of the passengers on board were wearing life jackets before the incident, the Tuoi Tre daily reported, quoting Nguyen Thuong Hai, one of the survivors.

Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc visited the site of the accident on Sunday and ordered local authorities to search quickly for the missing.

Hot weather had prompted many passengers to climb up on deck, putting the boat off balance and causing it to overturn, the Tuoi Tre newspaper said.

About 1,000 people took part in rescue mission, Da Nang authorities said. Rescue workers used fishing nets to prevent victims from being swept further away, according to city official Tran Duc Tho.

Last update: Sun, 05/06/2016 - 15:06
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