Luong Thanh Hoa, head of the Traffic Police Unit in the district of Can Tho Province where the accident took place, said the sightseeing boat sank after it was hit by a 625-ton freighter at Saturday morning, but reports of the accident were only released on Monday.

The bodies of a Vietnamese-American tourist and a man from Ho Chi Minh City were recovered by rescue boats later in the day. The driver and nine other tourists from the United States, France and Germany were rescued by nearby boats shortly after the accident.

The sightseeing boat was on its way to visit the Cai Rang floating market, a popular tourist attraction, where tropical fruits and vegetables are sold by vendors on travelling boats.

District police have detained the freighter's crew and the captain of the sunken sightseeing boat for questioning.

The Thien Nien Ky tour company, which organized the trip, brought the surviving tourists back to Ho Chi Minh City. The Vietnamese newspaper Lao Dong reported Monday that the company said the tourists would not be compensated because the tour did not include travel insurance.

Deutsche Presse Agentur - March 23, 2009