Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageVietnam tourist boat sinks, 12 passengers dead

By Leo Reyes     Feb 17, 2011 in World
At least 12 passengers of a Vietnamese tourist boat were killed by drowning when the boat they were riding sank in Halong Bay in Vietnam.
The fatalities were mostly foreign tourists who were touring the Halong Bay UNESCO heritage site, BBC News reports.
"So far the rescue team has rescued 15 people, including nine foreign tourists and six crew, and pulled out 12 bodies," Ngo Van Hung, director of the Halong Bay Management Department, told Reuters by telephone.
The bodies have been sent to a nearby hospital for formal identification, the report said.
Officials said the foreigners on board were believed to have come from 11 countries including Britain, Sweden, Australia and Japan, the report added.
The cause of the boat sinking could not yet be ascertained but it is possible the boat sank due to its old age and poor maintenance.
Most of the fatalities were reported to have been trapped inside their quarters as the boat went underwater. The accident happened at night and the passengers who opted to stay on board overnight were asleep when the boat sank.
"It is a rare and regrettable incident," Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Nguyen Phuong Nga told reporters.
"The accident was caused by a break in the hull of the boat. Police have begun an inquiry to clearly determine the causes," Nga said.
She said authorities must re-examine safety measures "in order that Halong Bay continues to be a safe and attractive destination for foreign tourists."
Mailonline reports many tourists stay overnight on boats with sleeping cabins to cruise the picturesque limestone pillars of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, which includes 1,600 islands and islets.
Despite the tragedy, travelers were still being ferried on trips around the bay.
More about Vietnam, Tourists, Boat, Sinking
More news from