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Three missing in sunken container vessel salvage operation
The Saigon Times Daily
Thursday,  Dec 12, 2019,17:45 (GMT+7)

Three missing in sunken container vessel salvage operation

The Saigon Times Daily

The scene of the incident where three divers went missing during the salvage operation of sunken ship Vietsun Integrity – PHOTO: NGUOI LAO DONG

HCMC - Three divers went missing and two others were injured on December 11 during the salvage operation of container vessel Vietsun Integrity in Long Tau River in HCMC’s Can Gio District, reported Nguoi Lao Dong newspaper.

The three missing were identified as Le Duc Hoa, 33, from Binh Dinh Province; Doan Van Hieu, 36, from Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province; and Cao Van Ly, 44, from Kien Giang Province. The two injured, Nguyen Phuc Hau and Nguyen Van Lam, were sent to a local hospital for treatment.

At around 8:50 a.m., the salvage team discovered the doors to one container had burst open while they were retrieving it from the sunken ship.

Hoa then jumped into the river to tie the doors together to prevent the goods from falling out. Other salvage workers on a ship with cranes then saw Hoa seemingly signal for help before falling unconscious.

Hieu, Ly, Hau and Lam dived into the river to save Hoa. All five swam toward the crane ship’s mooring lines, but all showed signs of exhaustion.

Moments later, Hoa, Hieu and Ly lost their grip on the mooring ropes and were swept away in the current. Hau managed to hold onto the line and prevented Lam from falling back into the water.

The salvage operation was immediately suspended. Search and rescue forces were dispatched to the scene to find the missing victims.

At around 3 p.m. on the same day, the area was still cordoned off and the search was still underway. Water traffic police were at the scene to regulate the traffic flow to ensure the rescue activities were not hindered.

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