News24

Ferry sinks in Cambodia

2009-10-11 14:11

Phnom Penh - An overloaded river ferry capsized on its way to a Buddhist ceremony in Cambodia, killing 17 passengers in a tributary of the Mekong River, an official said on Sunday.

Kham Phoeun, governor of Kratie province, said the boat was crammed with 30 passengers when it capsized in midstream in northeastern Kratie province, said Police Major Leng Sarum.

He said 13 passengers were rescued after the accident, which happened while the boat was headed to a ceremony at a Buddhist temple on Saturday night.

"There was no storm or heavy rain when the boat sank. The accident happened because it was overloaded with passengers," the officer said, speaking by telephone near the site of the incident.

He said the bodies of 17 dead, which included 14 women and two children under the age five, were being given to relatives.

Late last month, Typhoon Ketsana swept into central Cambodia and toppled dozens of rickety homes, killing at least 18 people and injuring some 100 others.