THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

32 bodies found in Myanmar ferry disaster as death toll mounts

MYANMAR: Searchers have recovered 32 bodies after an overloaded ferry sank in central Myanmar and expect to find dozens more dead, officials said yesterday (Oct 17), as workers began raising the boat from the riverbed.

accidentsdisastersdeathmarinetransport
By AFP

Tuesday 18 October 2016, 10:06AM


Rescue personnel transport a victim’s body after an overloaded ferry sank in central Myanmar. Photo: AFP

Rescue personnel transport a victim’s body after an overloaded ferry sank in central Myanmar. Photo: AFP

A total of 154 people were rescued alive after the ferry sank early Saturday (Oct 15) on the Chindwin River, about 72 kilometres north of the city of Monywa.

But rescuers have found only bloated corpses floating in the water since then, and fear the toll could reach 100 once they raise the craft.

“So far we have recovered 32 dead bodies,” said Sa Willy Frient, director of the local relief and resettlement department who is overseeing the operation.

“We are trying to raise the boat using a crane after tying it with strong ropes. After we lift it out, the death toll will be higher.”

Sa Willy Frient estimated 240-250 people – around 100 more than its capacity – were on the boat, along with heavy cargo.

Survivor Hnin Lei Yee, a 27-year-old schoolteacher, was travelling with her husband and one-year-old daughter to celebrate the Buddhist Thadingyut festival with her family.

Her baby was killed in the disaster. She still does not know her husband’s fate.

“It happened very fast,” she said. “The window was open so I had a chance to get out of the boat.

“I cannot swim so I had to hold on to a plastic float and finally the rescue boat came to save my life.

“In the morning, I heard there was a dead child in the hospital and I went there. I saw my daughter dead,” she said, weeping.

Some 30 teachers were thought to be among the passengers, along with dozens of students from Monywa University and workers heading home for Thadingyut.

“"I am really so sorry,” said Sai Khaing Myo Tun, vice president of Myanmar’s teachers’ federation. “This incident has terrified us very much.”

“The teachers often have to use such unsafe transportation, especially when they (come to) get their monthly salary.”

Four of the boat’s staff have been arrested and will face legal action. Authorities are still hunting for one crew member and the ferry’s owner.

Local lawmaker Shwin Htay said people were devastated by the scale of the disaster as he called for the boat operators to face justice.

“I have never known of a boat sinking where so many people have died in this area,” he said.

Boat accidents are common in Myanmar. People living along the nation’s long coastline and flood-prone river systems rely heavily on often overcrowded ferries for transport.

At least 21 people, including nine children, died in April after a boat capsized off the coast of Myanmar’s western state of Rakhine.

In March last year at least 52 people lost their lives off the west coast when an overloaded ferry sank in rough waters.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Sunscreen among contributing factors killing Phuket’s coral reefs

Keep it simple. If thai officials know so exactly what brand sunscreens are harming the coral enviro...(Read More)


E-licences hit legal roadblock

The article states, "... the RTP has DRAFTED A LAW to validate the digital version." Simil...(Read More)


Tout dumps slow loris with tourist, evades arrest at Kata Beach

As the comments are comical they can only be from a clown. As stated, it is not a Police job, so unl...(Read More)


New B25mn tsunami-warning buoy ‘to be operational tomorrow’

If you had read the article, the second buoy has always been operational. Perhaps they should have ...(Read More)


Phuket man arrested over Phatthalung New Year karaoke murder

Thailand- where a General goes out to do a Sgt's job!!...(Read More)


New B25mn tsunami-warning buoy ‘to be operational tomorrow’

Don't panic,K.As the article says,there is one more buoy giving warnings even earlier.Seeing you...(Read More)


Layan lockout: Public access denied amid Supreme Court wrangle for B10bn beachfront land

" 60 million people agree," so now he knows what 60 million people "know," get m...(Read More)


Phuket in the cold as ’Smart Driver’s licences’ launch

or maybe the usual teething problems when introducing technology?...(Read More)