HANOI (AFP) - Five Taiwanese tourists including a child were killed Wednesday in a boat collision in Vietnam’s famed Halong Bay, state media reported. The accident happened when a small boat bringing the tourists back from a visit to a cave collided with a bigger vessel, Vietnam Television said. A local police official confirmed the deaths when contacted by AFP. The authorities are investigating the cause of the accident, according to the report, which said three women were also among the victims. Vietnam’s maritime safety has been under scrutiny since 11 foreign tourists and their guide died in February 2011 when a boat sank in Halong Bay as they slept. Officials said previously that water leakage resulting from human error was the most likely cause of that incident.

The boat’s captain and engineer were arrested for investigation over alleged safety violations, which prompted authorities to vow a crackdown on tourist vessels at Halong Bay. The UNESCO World Heritage site, about 160 kilometres (100 miles) east of the capital Hanoi, is one of Vietnam’s top tourist attractions known for its stunning limestone cliffs.  Many of the wooden-hulled Halong Bay tour boats have dining facilities and cabins for tourists to sleep in while the vessels anchor overnight. In May 2011, 28 French tourists had a lucky escape when their boat began sinking on Halong Bay. There were no injuries. In the Philippines, three Taiwanese including a two-year-old girl and a woman in her 70s were killed Wednesday when a motorboat capsized at the popular resort of Boracay, a local official said.