3 remain missing, 43 rescued after cruise ship capsized on river in Da Nang

By VnExpress   June 4, 2016 | 07:12 am PT
At least three tourists, including two children and an adult, are said to remain missing while 43 others have been rescued after a cruise ship carrying them overturned on Han River near Novotel Hotel in the central city of Da Nang on June 4.

Da Nang is one of the top destinations for foreign and local tourists.

The sunk cruise is called Thao Van, license plate DNa 0016. It is owned by Vo Quoc Hung and was driven by Le Chi Cong. It's capacity is 28 seats. It was last inspected on May 19. The next inspection is scheduled for November 20.

- The cruise overturned around 9 p.m. on June 4. 

- Over 30 out of nearly 50 passengers have been taken to hospital.

- On the cruise, there were 21 members of the same family, many children and foreigners.

- The rescue team has said "there are casualties."

- 28 divers as well as police are searching for victims.

- Two nets have been spread in hope of finding victims. 

- Search and rescue groups take turns working through the night. 

00:50 a.m.

Vice General Ngo Quy Duc said 32 people have been rescued. "The cruise might have had more than 40 passengers. Four missing persons have been identified." The city continues to mobilize fishing boats. The search and rescue team is divided into groups to take turns working through the night. 

The authorities are knocking on every door to borrow fishing boats for search and rescue. 10 fishing boats are already operating. 

Search and rescue area spans two kilometers from Thuan Phuoc Bridge to Han River swing bridge.

00:30 a.m.

Da Nang Party Chief Nguyen Xuan Anh arrives at the site together with other leaders to discuss the search and rescue operation.

Da Nang Party Chief Nguyen Xuan Anh at the site.

Da Nang Party Chief Nguyen Xuan Anh at the site.

According to the official press release, the city has mobilized all its resources, including the army, police and firefighters.

As of 11:40 p.m., June 4, hospitals have accepted 29 victims, six of which have been discharged, 23 are still under hospital care.

The authorities haven't identified the exact number of passengers. All hotels in Da Nang are checked for missing guests.

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has phoned Da Nang People's Committee Chairman requesting him to urgently mobilize resources for search and rescue in order to minimize casualties. 

The Prime Minister also requested that the cause of the sinking cruise be soon identified. 

00:15 a.m.


More fishing boats are being mobilized to spread nets. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong

00:10 a.m.

Dang Thi Xuan cries by the Han River. She's a relative of Nguyen Thi Huyen (the 21 member family that was on the cruise). Xuan said two of her children, one aged 4, another aged 7, are missing. She's calling for her children as she cries, prompting others to cry too. Tran Chi Cuong, a top official from Da Nang Tourism Department, has tried to console her. 


Rescued victim Dang Thi Xuan cries for two of her missing children. Photo by VnExpress/Ngoc Truong

00:00 a.m., June 5

Hundreds of people gather to follow the search and rescue operation. Da Nang People's Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho continues to mobilize more fishing boats on Han River for the search. 


People following the operation at the scene. 

11:45 p.m.

The overturned cruise has drifted 300 meters from its initial point. The search and rescue team is using nets to keep the cruise from drifting further. 

Special forces and rescue ships have been mobilized from the neighboring Quang Nam Province. 

11:30 p.m.

A rescue canoe came ashore but only managed to find four or five suitcases belonging to passengers. 

An ambulance driver said he's transferred around 30 victims to the hospital. The family of Nguyen Thi Huyen from Bac Kan (northern province) is still looking for two children.  

Relatives of many victims, including foreign tourists and thousands of people are following the operation. 

11:15 p.m.

Special forces have been mobilized for the search. Vice General Ngo Quy Duc gaves orders that the search and rescue has to put safety first. 


11:00 p.m.

The search and rescue team together with fishermen have spread two layers of nets to find victims. "This is our last resort," said Da Nang People's Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho, who oversees the operation. 


Da Nang People's Committee Chairman Huynh Duc Tho is directly in charge of the rescue operation. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

10:50 p.m.


Nguyen Thi Huyen (crying in the center), a passenger from the Northern province of Bac Kan, said 21 members of her family went to Da Nang to celebrate the kids' good school results. After the cruise traveled around 100 meters, it sunk. So far, only 19 have been found. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

10:45 p.m.


Da Nang police searching for victims. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

10:40 p.m.


A South Korean passenger rescued from the cruise. The shocked tourist is under the care of paramedics. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

10:20 p.m.

A rescued passenger said there were life jackets on the cruise but most passengers weren't given one so nobody wore them when the cruise capsized. 

Authorities and the public track the developments of the rescue operation.

Authorities and the public track the developments of the rescue operation. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

10:15 p.m.

12 soldiers and 28 divers search for victims.

Divers ready for the rescue operation.

Divers ready for the rescue operation. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

10:10 p.m. 

"I Love Da Nang" group said around 20 people have been rescued, including four children who have been already been taken to hospital. One is under intensive care. 

At the site, the capsized cruise ship is being pulled ashore. 

A cruise ship and police search for the victims.

A cruise ship and police search for the victims.

10:00 p.m.

Lieutenant Tran Khanh, Deputy Head of Hai Chau District Police said the cruise had nearly 50 passengers. Da Nang police and army are coordinating the search and rescue. The number of people rescued is still unknown. The rescue team said "there are casualties." 

A child rescued is treated at a hospital.

A child rescued is treated at a hospital. Photo by I Love Da Nang

9:30 p.m.

Around 9 p.m. today, a cruise ship on Han River stopped in front of Novotel Hotel in Da Nang and then capsized. Those who could swim managed to escape, the remaining are missing.

The entire area surrounding the dock in front of Novotel has been blockaded by hundreds of policemen. Ambulances are parked nearby.


The police blockades the site. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Many other cruise ships are helping out with search and rescue.

Colonel Le Van Tam, Director of Da Nang Police, is present at the scene and said the exact number of people missing is still unknown.

A witness said there were many families on the cruise. 

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