2 dead after floating restaurant collapse in southern Vietnam

By VnExpress   July 23, 2016 | 03:42 pm GMT+7
2 dead after floating restaurant collapse in southern Vietnam
People rush to rescue children onboard the collapsed floating restaurant. Photo by VnExpress/Chau Tran

Hundreds of tourists, including many children, fell to the 2.5 meter deep sea.

A floating restaurant in Vinh Hy Bay in the southeastern province of Ninh Thuan suddenly collapsed earlier today, knocking 300 tourists into the sea. Two people died, according Tran Van Nam, Chief Party Secretary of Ninh Hai District (Ninh Thuan).

“We'll hold a meeting to identify the victims and cause of the accident,” Nam said, 

Around 10 a.m., witnesses said, hundreds of travelers, including many children, were dining inside the restaurant on a raft belonging to Vinh Tien tourist company. Piers supporting the raft then suddenly moved, tilting the restaurant onboard to collapse. 

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The collapsed restaurant. Photo by VnExpress/H.T.

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Rescue team searching for victims. Photo by VnExpress/H.T.

Local fishermen and other tourists nearby rushed to the rescue. They were then joined by local police and rescue forces. 

"People at the scene initially focused on rescuing women and children," said Nguyen Phuoc Thien, a tourist from Dak Lak Province

Linh, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City, said chaos broke when the raft capsized 50 meters from the shore. “I saw people screaming in panic, many nearby vessels rushed to the rescue but it was very chaotic as victims frantically tried to get onboard.”

The 1,500m2 restaurant was standing on a wooden raft which floated on plastic containers attached to the sides, said another tourist from Ho Chi Minh City. "At the time of the accident, many people fled to the metal roof of the raft. A lot of life jackets were thrown out to the sea for the victims but it was not enough.”

Vinh Hy Bay in the southeastern province of Ninh Thuan is a shelter hub for ships during storms and a tourist attraction known for its diverse seafood.

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