Ship collision off central coast kills three, two missing

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Three people died and two others were missing after a collison between two ships early Wednesday morning sank one off the coast of the central province of Quang Nam Wednesday.


The Phuc Hai 05 was on its way back from Indonesia when it bumped into Binh Minh, which was carrying 11 people and nearly 1,900 tons of clinker. The collision happened at around 3 a.m.


Binh Minh, which was heading for the central province of Thanh Hoa from the Mekong Delta province of An Giang, sank 15 minutes later.


Nguyen Van Duy, a 28-year-old crew member on Binh Minh, said they were sleeping when the accident took place.


"It was pitch dark, and we only had enough time to grab a life float, and we were clinging together and floating," he said.


According to Duy, they floated for nearly three hours in cold waters until another vessel passing by, Minh Hai 136, rescued six of them.


As of 5 p.m. the same day, three bodies of had been retrieved, while two others were still missing, said Do Xuan Chien, director of Phuc Hai Sea Transport Company, which owns Phuc Hai 05. All the dead were crew members of the Binh Minh, he added.


Nguyen Chi Dung, vice director of Da Nang Port Authority, said the accident would be investigated and the case would be handed over to the police if signs of criminal violations were detected.


Rescue workers were still trying to find the missing crewmen.


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