16 dead after boat sinks on Saigon River

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Rescuers have recovered the bodies of 15 people who drowned when a tourist boat sank on the Saigon River due to heavy rain on Friday evening.

According to rescuers, the body of the last victim, a 9-year-old boy, is stuck inside the boat and they are still working to remove the dead child.

Among the deceased victims, including four Chinese nationals, are four children.

The double-decker boat, designed as a floating restaurant, operated in the Din Ky Tourism Area in Binh Duong Province near Ho Chi Minh City. The boat capsized at around 7 p.m. Friday from heavy rain and strong winds.

Five people were rescued and several others managed to swim to safety after the boat sank. 

The boat cruising the Saigon River was carrying an estimated 26 passengers, including those attending a birthday party of a three-year-old son of Guo Liangcai, a Chinese-national company director.

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Guo was among the survivors.  However, eight members of his family, including his son, the three-year-old-boy celebrating his birthday, his wife and his daughter perished.

Several workers of Tai's company were invited to the party and are also among the dead victims.

Eyewitnesses living near the river said that the boat's windows were closed and a dozen passengers broke the windows to escape at the time of the accident. 

The boat is mostly used for parties and is capable of carrying up to 75 people.

Binh Duong police have arrested Le Van Duc, the boat's captain.  He managed to survive but has been detained and is under investigation.

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