Vietnam tour boat sunk because of broken pipe

HANOI, Vietnam — Vietnamese police concluded Monday that a broken pipe allowed water to leak into a tour boat anchored for the night in Ha Long Bay after cooling valves were left open, killing 12 travelers on board, including a University of Colorado graduate.

The crewman in charge of the boat’s engine went to bed and forgot to close the valves that allow water to flow in to cool the motor, said Quang Ninh provincial police spokesman Le Thanh Binh. A pipe that carries that water ruptured, allowing water to leak into the boat while the passengers slept.

The boat’s captain Nguyen Van Minh, 22, and engine man Do Van Thang, 27, have been arrested and accused of “negligence causing serious consequences,” which carries a jail term of up to 12 years.

Eleven foreign tourists from nine countries died along with a Vietnamese tour guide when the “Dream Voyage” suddenly sank around 5 a.m. on Thursday. Most tourists were still sleeping and became trapped inside their overnight cabins when a torrent of water quickly inundated the boat and sucked it under.

One of those killed, Samantha Kay Taylor, graduated from Fruita Monument High School and had been teaching in China. Her boyfriend, CU student George Fosmire, survived but his father told The Associated Press that an unidentified friend they were traveling with also died.


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