Da Nang dismisses state officials after fatal shipwreck

By Nguyen Dong   June 7, 2016 | 07:56 pm PT
Authorities in Da Nang have fired several officials after a ship sank on the Han River on June 4, causing the deaths of three people.

The city’s People's Committee has instructed the Department of Transport to fire the director and deputy director of the Port Authority of Inland Waterways, as well as the whole management team of the Han River Port.

The committee also asked its inspection department to find the individuals directly responsibile in the Department of Transport and the Department of Tourism, and take disciplinary action against them.

On June 2, the marine police identified that a ship called Thao Van was still operating on the Han River despite not being licensed to carry passengers. The port authority, however, did not hold the vessel.

On June 4, the ship was carrying 56 people (including two crew members) as it departed from the Han River Port. After about 10 minutes, it suddenly listed and capsized. Two cruise ships and a nearby canoe quickly came to the rescue, saving more than 40 people.

The initial investigation found that the boat went down due to overloading. It had only 28 seats but was carrying 56 people in total.

The city’s police are conducting further investigations to bring the case to court.

Thao Van was modified from a fishing vessel into a cruise ship and was the smallest one operating on the Han River. The ship also sank once in 2014, but no casualties were reported.

Since the accident, Da Nang has banned all cruise ships that have been modified from fishing vessels and said only new boats are allowed to transport passengers on the Han River.

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