Tour helicopter crash near Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay kills 5

A helicopter carrying four tourists on a sightseeing trip crashed in the Ha Long Bay area of northeast Vietnam on Wednesday evening. The body of the fifth and final victim of the crash was found this morning.

The Bell-505 helicopter took off from Tuan Chau Island at 4.56pm local time and lost contact with air traffic control at 5.15pm, crashing into the sea between Quang Ninh and Hai Phong – 7 kilometres from where it took off.

VNExpress reports that the remains of 60 year old Nguyen Thi Hoi were found 30 metres away from the site of the crash this morning, according to an Hai Phong military representative. Her remains will be taken to the Bai Chay Hospital before being returned to her family.

Vietnam’s Ministry of Defence confirmed that all five on board were Vietnamese nationals. The other victims included Hoi’s husband Ho Ta Luc, Luc’s sister and a family friend and the aircraft’s pilot, 59 year old Chu Quang Minh.

Over 300 people were dispatched for search and rescue efforts. The efforts will end today once all fragments of the helicopter, owned by the Northern Viet Nam Helicopter Company, have been recovered. The fallen helicopter was found on Wednesday at 11pm.

Sightseeing helicopter tours were suspended across Vietnam after the deadly crash, which was confirmed by Dinh Viet Thang, head of the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) yesterday.

The state-owned Northern Viet Nam Helicopter Company offers aerial tours in Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Vung Tau, Mai Chau, Mu Cang Chai and Dien Bien.

A 10-minute helicopter tour over Ha Long Bay costs around 2.4 million Vietnamese dong (US$102.32) per person. A 15-minute trip for 3.6 million dong (US$153.49) takes tourists over Thien Cung Cave, Trong Mai Islet, Sung Sot Cave, Ti Top Island, Bai Chay Bridge, and Rieu Island. A 30-minute tour costs 7.35 million dong (US$313.37) per person.

Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the Gulf of Tonkin in Quang Ninh province, 165 kilometres away from the capital of Ha Noi.

World News


Leah is a translator and news writer for the Thaiger. Leah studied East Asian Religions and Thai Studies at the University of Leeds and Chiang Mai University. Leah covers crime, politics, environment, human rights, entertainment, travel and culture in Thailand and southeast Asia.

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