A wooden cruise ship in Vietnam’s Halong Bay with 36 foreign tourists aboard caught fire and sank on Friday. Many passengers jumped over the side to escape the flames and smoke.
The incident rate of fires on cruise ships in the bay is reportedly high, and local media say that authorities intend to phase out wooden vessels in favor of steel ships by the end of the decade in order to improve safety. In addition, passenger vessels may soon be prohibited from making overnight trips, and will be restricted to day excursions only. Approximately 500 vessels operate in the area, 200 offering overnight tours.
A five-minute video shows the fire spreading rapidly from smoke near the stern to a full blaze throughout.