Three dead, three missing after Rakhine boat sinks
Three women drowned and three remain missing after a motorboat travelling between the Rakhine State townships of Taunggok and Rambre was ruptured amid high waves.
THREE women drowned and three remain missing after a motorboat travelling between the Rakhine State townships of Taunggok and Rambre sank amid high waves, according to township administrator U Hla Moe Oo.
“The hold of the craft ruptured because of the huge waves. Nineteen passengers and the goods they bought from the [Taunggok] township market were on board,” he said.
“Out of 10 women, we found four alive and three bodies. We are continuing to search for the rest of the missing, three other women,” he added.
The dead include 18-year-old Ma Kay Yi Soe, Daw Hla Hla Aye, 55, and Daw Shwe Su, 58.
U Hla Moe Oo added that the Taunggok township administration, police force and fire services department are working together to carry out the search. The government plans to provide K300,000 (US$250) to each of the victims’ families, the local administrator said.
The boat was returning to Saku village, Rambre township, from Taunggok when it encountered the treacherous waters and came apart on the Nat Kan River near Khaung Laung Tu village.
The captain of the 30-foot-long (9.1-metre) craft will be prosecuted if the passengers seek legal action, U Hla Moe Oo said.
The fatal sinking was at least the fourth of its kind this year in Rakhine State, with two boats carrying schoolchildren sinking in June and August, claiming a total of 11 young victims, and 21 Muslim residents drowned when their vessel went down in April.
Rakhine State MPs have criticised what they have deemed sluggish progress on the part of the state government in reforming the treacherous ferry system. All three government-operated ferry routes had been closed after the sinking of the Aung Takon 3 last year, which killed at least 72 people.
– Translation by Thiri Min Htun
Volunteers and rescue workers help bring passengers and goods from a motorboat that sank in high waves yesterday.