Myanmar ferry accident death toll climbs; boat accidents common in delta and coastal regions

YANGON, Myanmar – The death toll in a ferry accident last week off northwestern Myanmar rose to 61 as two more bodies were recovered Tuesday, state television reported.

The report on the evening news said that the bodies of 14 males and 47 females had been found so far, and efforts were continuing to recover victims from the ship about 30 metres (90 feet) underwater.

The Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported earlier Tuesday that the number of known survivors was 169.

The crowded government-run double-decker ferry was carrying more than 225 passengers when it left the coastal town of Kyaukphyu. The ferry had travelled about 80 kilometres (50 miles) north near Myebon in Rakhine state Friday night when it hit rough seas and capsized after taking on water.

Boat accidents due to overcrowding and bad weather are common in Myanmar’s river deltas and coastal regions. People rely on boat transport because of the lower cost and the inaccessibility of many areas by road.



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