Cruise ship operator suspended following Ha Long Bay boat blaze

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Cruise ship operator suspended following Ha Long Bay boat blaze Cruise ship operator suspended following Ha Long Bay boat blaze A cruise ship carrying 14 foreigners in Ha Long Bay went on fire before it sank on January 10. Photo by Vietnam News Agency

Authorities are looking into the latest fire to break out in one of Vietnam's top tourist destinations.

A cruise ship operator has had its Ha Long Bay fleet temporarily grounded by authorities in Quang Ninh Province following a fire on one of its boats.

The fire broke out on Monday on a cruise ship operated by Bhaya. The fleet will only be allowed to return to the water when the reasons behind the accident have been established, VietnamPlus reported on Tuesday.

The local Police Department for Fire Fighting and Prevention and relevant parties have been tasked with carrying out the investigation.

The incident happened at around 3 p.m. on Monday when the anchored ship was waiting for seven tourists, including five foreigners, to return from a kayaking session.

Crew members managed to save all their luggage and put out the fire. The wooden vessel was built in 2003 and renovated in 2012.

Just over a month ago, another cruise ship carrying 14 foreigners in Ha Long Bay caught on fire and sank on January 10.

Fire safety has long been a concern among tourists on cruise trips in Ha Long Bay, a world-renowned destination and beloved by many foreigners. Incidents like this are not uncommon, despite efforts to step up inspections.

Authorities in the northern province have announced plans to replace all wooden boats and ships with metal vessels in the next five years.

Last year, they also considered a ban on overnight trips for safety reasons, but no decision was reached.

Related news:

> Another cruise ship catches fire in Vietnam's Ha Long Bay

> 14 foreign tourists rescued from Ha Long cruise ship blaze

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