|A massive inspection will be conducted for all inland waterway tourist boats en route to HCM City and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province under an order of Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai. — VNA/VNS Photo Huy Hung
HA NOI (VNS) — Deputy Prime Minister Hoang Trung Hai asked authorised agencies to inspect all inland waterway tourist vessels en route to HCM City and southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau province to ensure safety for passengers.
Any vessel that fails to meet technical and safety standards will be suspended, he stressed.
The move follows a fire on a Vina Express 1 vessel carrying 85 passengers from HCM City to Vung Tau Resort City last month. No casualties occurred, but the vessel's cabin and engine room were destroyed.
HCM City authorities suspended operation of all hydrofoils in the city pending checks following the fire.
During the 2007- 13 period, 34 hydrofoil accidents were reported, according to the Vung Tau Port Authority.
Tran The Ky, deputy director of the HCM City Department of Transport, said the accidents were due to the ageing hydrofoil fleet, produced in Russia in the early 1990s, as well as lax management.
In another move to ensure safety for passengers, the Ministry of Transport suspended the operation of hydrofoils with one motor from September 1, 2013.
The HCM City – Ba Ria – Vung Tau hydrofoil route opened in 1993 and quickly became a popular alternative to bus travel. While it takes three hours to go to Vung Tau by bus, the hydrofoil halves that time, Ky said. — VNS