A pregnant woman drowned after a ferry boat sank in the central province of Quang Nam on Monday.
At around 6:30 a.m., a ferry boat carrying 40 people, several dozens of motorbikes, bicycles and a two-ton truck sank on a river from Tam Hai to Tam Giang Commune in Nui Thanh District.
Thirty-nine passengers were rescued, local authorities said.
Rescuers recovered the body of Vo Thi Thien Tham, a 25-year-old worker of a local garment company. Tham was two months' pregnant, according to her family.
Local authorities said the ferry boat was overloaded, which led to the accident.
Bui Van Thu, the boat's owner and driver, fled the scene shortly after the accident.
As of 12 a.m., rescuers had pulled 15 motorbikes and four bicycles ashore.
The accident sparked outrage among local residents because local authorities had fined the boat owner three times for transporting trucks, but he had ignored the violations.
Huynh Thi Ut, a 49-year-old resident, said the boat also transported trucks carrying construction materials if there was no traffic officer around to check.
Ut said she had reported the violations to Tam Hai Commune People's Committee, but nothing was done to stop the overloaded boat.
Nguyen Thi Quyet, a passenger on the boat, told Thanh Nien the boat went halfway on the river when water started flowing into the floor.
Passengers fell into a panic after seeing there weren't enough life jackets for all passengers.
Quyet said a passenger grabbed two life jackets and gave it to Vo Thi Thien Tham (the deceased victim). Tham, however, gave the jackets to Quyet and another passenger.
When the boat sank, everyone jumped into the water. Most of them were saved by nearby boatmen.
Tham was swept away by water. When a boatman approached her, Tham had drowned.