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VietNamNews

Police hold skipper of sunk tourist boat

Update: February, 21/2011 - 09:39

HA NOI — Police have arrested the captain and a co-worker on the Ha Long Bay tour boat which sank off Ti Top Island last Thursday drowning 12 people, including 11 foreign tourists.

Captain Nguyen Van Minh, aged 21, and co-worker Do Van Thang, 27, were arrested yesterday for alleged "irresponsibility" that led to the tragedy, provincial Public Security director Vu Chi Thuc said.

The boat, owned by Truong Hai Co Ltd, has been taken to a ship repair workshop in Ha Long City for further investigation.

The vessel was built in 2008 and was due for another warrant of fitness check and registration at the end of April.

Most of the 27 passengers and crew were asleep when the vessel sank at 5am.

The provincial People's Committee has established an interdisciplinary investigation team to review the quality of cruises which offer tourists the option of sleeping overnight on board traditional wooden boats in the bay.

The team has checked all 166 boats registered to offer the service, including technical standards, registration, services, crew members, fire fighting and environment.

Results of the investigation will be reported to the People's Committee this Thursday. The team would propose to allow boats which met all standards to continue offering the service.

Meanwhile northeastern Quang Ninh Province officials on Saturday returned the bodies of eight of the foreign tourists killed in the accident to their relatives. — VNS

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