YANGON, Apr 8 – At least 20 people were killed when their passenger boat collided with a river barge in western Myanmar, a state-run newspaper reported Saturday. The boat carrying 80 passengers sank shortly after a “head on collision” with the cargo ship on Friday evening in a river near Pathein, a port city west of Yangon and capital of the Ayeyarwady region, the Global New Light of Myanmar said.
The boat was filled with guests returning from a wedding, according to other local media. “Eighteen bodies including four men and 14 women were discovered in the wrecked ship so far,” the state mouthpiece said, without elaborating on the other two it confirmed dead. It added that rescue operations were ongoing. Fatal boat accidents are common in Myanmar, where many people living along its flood-prone rivers rely on often overcrowded ferries for transport.
Last October 73 people, including many teachers and students, died when their packed vessel capsized in central Myanmar on the Chindwin River. It took several days to recover all of the bodies. In March 2015, around 60 people died after their ferry, which was carrying some 200 passengers, sank off the coast of western Rakhine state. — AFP