60 still missing after Myanmar ferry disaster

Rescue workers are still searching a large section of the Chindwin River where the ferry had capsized.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Rescue workers in Myanmar search the Chindwin River for missing people.

Dozens of people were killed and around 60 are still missing after a ferry capsized in the Chindwin River in northwestern Myanmar, a rescue official said on Monday.

Boat accidents are frequent in Myanmar where overcrowded and unsafe vessels are common means of transport.

"I heard from witnesses that the boat was packed with at least 300 passengers, despite its official capacity of around 120," a lawmaker in the Sagaing regional parliament, Kyaw Htay Lwin said.

He also said the real number of missing could be higher.

Sa Willy Frank, head of the regional relief department said relief workers rescued about 150 people.

The official said rescue teams were still out looking for the missing.

The ferry was traveling from Homalin to Monywa when it sank at about 5am on Saturday close to Kani, about 137 km northwest of Myanmar's former royal capital, Mandalay.

In March 2015, 64 people died in a similar accident when an overloaded ferry capsized in bad weather.

TRTWorld, Reuters