14 dead and 140 missing after overcrowded Myanmar ferry capsizes

MONYWA, Myanmar, Oct. 17 (UPI) — A ferry boat carrying as many as 300 people on Myanmar’s Chindwin River capsized, killing at least 14 people.

About 160 people aboard the Aung Soe Moe Kyaw ferry boat were rescued Saturday, with many more unaccounted for. The boat, overcrowded far beyond recommended capacity, carried teachers, students and civil service workers from the town of Homalin to the city of Monywa in the Sagaing region of central Myanmar.

Sa Willy Frient, director of the local relief and resettlement department, said about 100 more people were aboard the boat than legally allowed. Initial reports indicated the boat struck a rock, causing it to capsize.
“It was mainly university students and school teachers on the ferry that day.” I think around 70 or 80 university students and about 30 school teachers, and also doctors,” Frient said. “So far, we have found 14 dead bodies from the river, but we still need to identify them.”

U San Min Aye, local fire services chief, said, “The search is continuing. So far, we can’t confirm the exact number of passengers on board. According to the passengers who have been rescued alive, the boat picked up additional passengers and goods on the way. From what they say, we fear the number of missing may be high.”


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