Boat owner faces criminal charges in Vietnam fatal accident

TN News

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Police in the southern province of Binh Duong have asked related agencies to consider the criminal responsibility of the owner of a tourism area where a boat accident killed 16 people on May 20.

Police have also held a meeting after the families of four Chinese victims in the accident on the Saigon River submitted a letter to the provincial police and prosecutors' office.

The letter asked for charges against the owner of Din Ky Company, which manages the Din Ky Cau Ngang Tourism Area, local news site VnExpress reported Monday. 

They also asked for criminal punishments against Le Van Duc, the floating restaurant-boat's captain, Le Van Quang, its manager, and Dinh Van Quan, manager of floating restaurants in the area, the news website reported.

Currently Duc and Quang are in police's custody for investigations.

Duc was found disqualified for plotting the boat, while the vehicle's register certificate expired in February.

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The port, which has been operated by Din Ky over years, is unlicensed as well because it is located at a dangerous location with a whirlpool.

The fatal accident that killed nine members of a family who were celebrating the birthday of a three-year-old boy happened when the floating restaurant, which was carrying 28 passengers, overturned in the Saigon River during heavy rain and strong winds.

Five passengers and the seven-member crew swam to safety.

Following the accident, Chau Hoan Tam, owner of Din Ky, made a public apology and pledged to pay all funeral and transport fees for the victims' families.

The accident has sparked safety concerns among waterway agencies in HCMC and Binh Duong, prompting checks on local boats' safety.

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, meanwhile, instructed its provincial agencies to coordinate with other agencies to better monitor waterway tourism and ensure safety. Provinces nationwide have been told to survey tourism boats and propose measures to improve the service.

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