England

Vietnam waterfalls deaths: Tour firm suspended by authorities

Isobel Mackensie Squire, Beth Anderson and Christian Sloan Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The bodies of Isobel Squire (left), Beth Anderson and Christian Sloan were discovered near the waterfalls on Friday

Vietnamese authorities have suspended the tour firm that guided three British tourists found dead near waterfalls in the South East Asian country.

Sheffield sisters Beth Anderson, 24 and Isobel Squire, 19, and Christian Sloan, 25, from Kent died in the Da Lat area of Lam Dong province on Friday.

Adventure tour operator Dalat Passion has been suspended and a tour guide has been questioned by the police.

Local authorities said the tourists were taken on an unofficial route.

The BBC's South East Asia correspondent Jonathan Head said that according to the head of the local tourism department the three Britons entered the water in a restricted area near the popular Datanla waterfall which had clear English and Vietnamese warning signs.

'Swept away'

"The company has now been suspended and their tour guide has been questioned by the police," he added.

"He says he tried to warn them but that they were swept away by the current and over the waterfall.

"The Datanla falls are a very popular destination for young backpackers in particular and there are a number of adrenaline-charged activities available there, like abseiling or sliding down the waterfall.

"However the deaths of the three young British tourists have raised questions about the safety of these activities, which the Vietnamese authorities have now promised to investigate."

Dalat Passion has not commented.

The sisters, from the Ecclesall area of Sheffield, were seven weeks into a backpacking tour of south-east Asia.

Mr Sloan had been travelling in Vietnam with James McGlashan, also from Kent, who was later asked to identify the bodies at the hotel they had been staying in.

On Sunday South Yorkshire Police said it was working with the Foreign Office and Vietnamese officials over the deaths of Ms Anderson and Ms Squire.

Da Lat is the capital of Lam Dong province, in the country's central highlands.

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