Da Nang leader takes responsibility for fatal shipwreck tragedy

By Nguyen Dong   June 9, 2016 | 11:47 pm GMT+7

Leader of the popular tourist city of Da Nang said he takes responsibility for the cruise ship that sank on Han River last Saturday, causing the death of three, while directing attention to the management of the city’s port.

"We would like to take responsibility. Had management been sound, the accident wouldn't have occured. We do not blame it on external circumstances. We will do everthing in our hands to lessen the victims' losses," said Nguyen Xuan Anh, municipal party committee secretary of Da Nang.

Nguyen Xuan Anh, municipal party committee secretary of Da Nang takes responsibility during a meeting with Minister of Transport. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Nguyen Xuan Anh, municipal party committee secretary of Da Nang takes responsibility during a meeting with Minister of Transport. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

The fatal shipwreck on Danang’s Han River on June 4 was mentioned several times during a working session between the delegation led by Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia and the local authorities. Both sides discussed management and investment in transport infrastructure in the central province in a bid to prevent similar events from recurring.

Secretary Anh said the prosecution of people responsible for the shipwreck will be processed soon and publicly. As of June 9, helmsman and boat owners of the capsized cruise have been arrested and prosecuted while a larger inquiry into negligence by other related individuals and organizations at the local port has been launched.

"We also look into the responsibility of leaders of transport and tourism departments; no excuses," said Anh.

Anh said the city is reviewing every cruise touring on Han River while it has also suspended all boating activities and banned ships that were modified from fishing vessels.

The shipwreck has shocked the entire country," said Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

The shipwreck has shocked the entire country," said Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Khuat Viet Hung, vice chairman of the National Traffic Safety Committee, said the shipwreck was particularly severe, and though the number of casualties was not large, it has shocked the entire country.

Without the fishermen on cruise ships near the accident's site, it would have been a “huge disaster” since the professional rescue squad only arrived at the scene half an hour after the boat capsized, Hung said.

He suggested that the rescue teams should be commended by not only Da Nang but also the central government for their efforts in bringing most of the boat passengers to safety.

Da Nang authorities have also expressed strong commitment to review the responsibilities of state management agencies.

Transport Minister Truong Quang Nghia echoed this, saying: "Da Nang tourism is growing well and is a choice of most domestic tourists and also foreign visitors. The accident has left a big impact so we have to focus on the management."

Cruise ship Thao Van carried double the amount of its passenger capacity when the accident happened. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

Cruise ship Thao Van carried double the amount of its passenger capacity when the accident happened. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong

On June 4, a cruise ship named Thao Van was carrying 56 people (including two crew members) as it departed from the Han River Port. After about 10 minutes, it suddenly tilted and capsized.

While the majority was picked up by rescue teams shortly after the incident, three victims remained missing for nearly 24 hours. Local authorities mobilized both military and civilian divers and search teams to ply the waters near the accident site in an effort to find the missing victims.

On Sunday afternoon, the three remaining passengers were found. Initial investigation showed that the boat went down due to overloading. It had only 28 seats but was carrying 56 people in total.

In the wake of the accident, Danang's People's Committee yesterday has handed down fierce reprimands to Han River port authorities, suspending director and deputy director of the Port Authority of Inland Waterways, as well as the whole management team of the Han River Port.

Related news:

> Da Nang dismisses state officials after fatal shipwreck

> Da Nang presses charges against cruise company after fatal capsize

> What caused Da Nang cruise ship tragedy?

> Three found dead as Vietnam PM arrives in Da Nang after cruise ship accident

 
 
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