20 killed in Myanmar wedding boat crash

(iStock)
(iStock)

Yangon - At least 20 people were killed when a boat carrying scores of wedding guests collided with a river barge in Western Myanmar, authorities said on Saturday, with more feared drowned as rescuers searched for the missing.

The boat, called "Silver Star" in Burmese, sank in a river near Pathein, a port city west of commercial capital Yangon.

It was believed to be carrying around 60 passengers on their way home from a wedding ceremony, according to a local police officer.

Of the dead, officials said 16 were women and four were men.

Rudimentary transport

"They were crossing to the other side of the river after attending a wedding in Pathein. Most of them were relatives from the same village," said the policeman.

Both ships were unlit when they collided in the middle of the river, he added.

"We estimate nine people are still missing," said regional MP Aung Thu Htwe.

Fatal boat accidents are common in Myanmar, a poor country with rudimentary transport and weakly-enforced safety regulations.

Vessels ferrying people along the country's coastline and rivers are often dangerously overcrowded and accidents can have staggering death tolls. It can also take several days for all bodies to be retrieved.


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