Overloaded boat sinks, 7 drown
|The vessel, which had a capacity of only 18, was reported to be carrying 30 people at the time of the accident. Two people are still missing.—Photo vov
HCM CITY (VNS)— The bodies of seven people were found yesterday following a boating accident on the Soai Rap River in HCM City.
The vessel, which had a capacity of only 18, was reported to be carrying 30 people at the time of the accident. Two people are still missing.
The vessel, owned by the Ba Ria-Vung Tau Coast Guard, sank on Friday evening amid strong winds and high waves near Can Gio District.
Thirty employees from a Viet Nam Gas Corporation subsidiary were on board. The Oil Pipeline JSC employees were on their way back to Vung Tau after attending a wedding in Tien Giang Province.
The Marine Search and Rescue Centre said a rescue vessel had picked up three of the passengers and a HCM City Coast Guard boat had rescued 14, while a Ba Ria-Vung Tau Coast Guard vessel saved four passengers, including a foreign couple.
The HCM City Coast Guard vessel is searching for the remaining missing people, however, weather conditions are hampering efforts.
Chairman of the Can Gio District People's Committee Huynh Cach Mang said the 21 rescued passengers had been rushed to Can Gio District Hospital.
Rescue agencies were searching sections of the river in Ly Nhon and Long Hoa, he said.
According to Colonel Tran Cong Hieu, deputy chief of the Ba Ria Vung Tau Coast Guard, the sunken vessel had been donated by Vietsovpetro, a Vietnamese-Russian oil and gas joint venture, two months ago.
Minister of Transport Dinh La Thang, who arrived in Can Gio district on Saturday to oversee the search and rescue work, said rescue units should extend the search area ahead of a storm that was expected to hit HCM City.
He also asked the Vietnam Maritime Administration to work with relevant authorities to investigate the cause of the accident.
The same day, Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung asked the National Committee for Search and Rescue and relevant agencies to work together to search for the missing passengers and provide assistance to the survivors. — VNS