Rescuers are searching for the missing people after a tourism boat sank in the Han River in Da Nang City June 4, 2016. Photo: Nguyen Tu/Thanh Nien
Rescuers in the central city of Da Nang are searching for survivors Sunday morning after a tourism boat sank in the Han River on Saturday nightg.
The incident happened at around 8:30 p.m. when the Thao Van 2 tourism boat suddenly turned over at a river section in front of the Novotel Hotel in the city downtown.
The number of people onboard could be 46 instead of 38 as reported by the boat owner previously, Nguyen Viet Dung, deputy chairman of Da Nang People's Committee, said.
By 2 a.m. Sunday, 43 people, including four Malaysian tourists, were rescued and rushed to hospitals in the city.
Three passengers - two children from the northern province of Thai Nguyen, and a man from the central province of Binh Dinh -- are still missing.
Four of the survivors, including a Malaysian couple, are in critical condition.
A survivor, who wanted to remain unnamed, said the boat turned over around 15 minutes into the cruise and no emergency call was made.
“No passenger managed to wear life jacket but many were lucky to hold on to them. There were 4 foreigners among the passengers,” she said.
Witnesses said they saw the boat turning over and sinking without colliding with any boat or floating object.
Do Thi Huong, one of the survivors, said the passengers were not told to wear life jackets.
"The boat has movable chairs just like at a cafe. The boat tilted aside when too many people sat on one side. They were terrified and ran to the other side, forcing the boat to turn over," she said.
Da Nang authorities have mobilized around 200 rescuers to search for the missing people.
By 11 p.m. on Saturday, the boat was retrieved but there was no person inside. Rescuers assumed that there may be other victims being washed down the river.
Nguyen Son, director of Da Nang Pediatric and Gynecology Hospital said the hospital has admitted 11 victims, aged from 3-11, including 2 with serious respiratory failure.
The Da Nang general hospital has admitted 18 victims, including 9 children that were transferred to the pediatric hospital.
Da Nang authorities also found that the boat had been modified from a fishing boat and did not register to carry tourists.
In 2014, the Thao Van 2 sank when carrying 10 tourists on the Han River. Luckily, all of them were rescued.
Da Nang's rescuers rush some survivors to hospital on Saturday night. Photo: Nguyen Tu/Thanh Nien