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Myanmar: At least 20 killed as boat carrying wedding guests capsizes

Earlier that year in April at least 21 people, including nine children, died after their boat capsized off the coast of Myanmar`s western state of Rakhine. (Image source: Flickr) Photograph: (Others)

AFP Yangon Division, Myanmar (Burma) Apr 08, 2017, 03.04 AM (IST)

At least 20 people were killed when their passenger boat collided with a river barge at night in western Myanmar, authorities said Saturday, with more feared drowned as rescue workers renewed their search in daylight.

Most of the dead were women, according to state media, which said the boat was carrying 80 passengers when it sank Friday evening on a river in Pathein, a port city west of the commercial capital Yangon.

The ship was filled with guests returning from a wedding, according to local media.

"Altogether 16 women and four men were killed in the boat accident," regional MP Aung Thu Htwe told AFP Saturday morning. 

"We estimate nine people are still missing," he said, adding that some 30 people had been rescued alive. He was unable to confirm how many people were in the boat when it went down.

Photos in local media showed rescuers working in the darkness to pile the bloated bodies of the dead onshore.

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. 

Earlier that year in April at least 21 people, including nine children, died after their boat capsized off the coast of Myanmar`s western state of Rakhine.

Around 60 people died the year before, in March 2015, when their ferry sank in the same treacherous waters off of Rakhine state.

(AFP)

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