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Twenty dead after wedding boat sinks in Myanmar

April 8, 2017

Twenty people died and a dozen are missing after a boat carrying 60 wedding guests hit a cargo ship and sank off Myanmar. The cause of the accident is being investigated.

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Image: picture alliance/ROPI

The boat was unlit and hit a cargo ship on the river in the city of Pathein at about 7:20 p.m. (1250 UTC), local officials said.

Police officer Nay Lin Tun said that more than 40 people were on board the ferry when it capsized, adding that police and firefighters were attempting to rescue passengers in the Ngawun River, where the accident occurred.

Twenty bodies have been found so far and 27 people have been rescued, local government official Kyaw Myint told the news agency Reuters from a hospital in Pathein.

Rescuers were still looking for survivors, witnesses said.

"The authorities at the port are looking into the cause of the crash," Kyaw Myint told Reuters.

The regional government will reportedly help arrange the funerals, he said.

"It's a huge tragedy because there were a lot of women and children on the boat,” Khin Zaw Lin, a parliamentarian for the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party, told Reuters.

This is the third big marine accident in the country in as many years. Seventy-three people died in a ferry accident in October last year and 64 in an accident in March 2015.

jbh/kl (Reuters, AP)