A married couple and their three year-old daughter went missing when their boat capsized after crashing into Hanoi's Duong Bridge Tuesday night, VnExpress reported.
At around 11 p.m. Tran Trung Dung, 32, was steering the boat when he nearly collided with a bigger boat, Hoang Quang Cuu, Dung's brother-in-law, who was also on the boat, told the news website.
The boat then crashed into a bridge pylon and sank, according to Cuu, adding that he was standing at the boat's prow and managed to jump off it.
Dung's wife, 27-year-old Tran Thi Ngan and their daughter, Tran Khanh Ly, were sleeping in the hold, so they drowned together with Dung, according to Cuu.
In the meantime, the news source quoted a leader of the Ha Hai Company, which manages the bridge, as saying that although they have yet to assess the damages caused to the pylon due to high tides and swift currents, he imagines it suffered minor damages thanks to good construction.
The Duong River's rough conditions and dense boat traffic are complicating efforts to locate the Dung and his family or retrieve their boat, according to Nguyen Van Khuong, deputy chief of Hanoi's sea traffic police.
This is the third accident to take place in the area around the bridge, which has been under repair for the past month, VnExpress said.
On July 22, a 500-ton sand freight boat crashed into a 250-meter-long pontoon bridge which served as a detour bridge during efforts to repair the Duong.
The accident pushed the floating bridge 15 meters down stream and trapped dozens of vehicles in the river.
On July 31, another freight boat, also weighing 500 tons, broke anchor in the middle of being loaded with goods and crashed into the pontoon bridge, VnExpress said.
Both the accidents happened when the tide was high and the current was swift, it added.