Three dead, three miss­ing after Rakhine boat sinks

The Myanmar Times - - Front Page - YEE YWEL MYINT news­room@mm­times.com

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

Photo: Sup­plied

Vol­un­teers and res­cue work­ers help bring pas­sen­gers and goods from a mo­tor­boat that sank in high waves yes­ter­day.

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