Unlicensed mechanic drove tender involved in fatal Ha Long Bay boat accident

TN News

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Police in the northern province of Quang Ninh say they have arrested a mechanic for driving a tender without a license, leading to an accident in which five Taiwanese tourists were killed on Ha Long Bay early this month.

Luu Quang Tam, 34, is being detained for investigations on charge of "violating regulations on driving waterway vehicles."

On October 3, a tender was carrying 18 Taiwanese tourists back to their ship after a visit to the Sung Sot Cave when it collided with the tourist boat Dong Phong 02 at around 4:15 p.m.

The tender sank, killing a 69-year-old man, three women, and a nine-year-old girl.

The remaining 13 were rescued.

The tender was ferrying the tourists back to a larger ship named Paradise Cruises, which was carrying 36 Taiwanese nationals on a tour of Ha Long Bay.

The 36 tourists, employees and families of a company in Kaohsiung, arrived in Vietnam on October 2 with Taiwan-based Life Tour. They were scheduled to return home on October 5, Taiwan's Central News Agency reported.

The Dong Phong 02 had been carrying 47 Taiwanese tourists when the accident happened.  None of the tourists on the boat was injured.

After the accident, police arrested Mac Van Duong, 36, the vice-captain of Paradise Cruises, who confessed to police he was driving the tender at the time of the accident.

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However, further investigations revealed that Duong had assigned Tam, a mechanic on Paradise Cruises, to drive the tender for him, despite the fact that Tam did not have a license.

Police said Duong will face new charges.

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