Asia

Scores missing in Myanmar ferry capsize accident

In this handout photograph released by the Myanmar Fire Services Department on October 17, 2016, government rescue personnel from the Myanmar Fire Services Department take part in a search operation on the Chindwin River after a ferry capsized near Monywa city in Sagaing region Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Rescuers have been searching the Chindwin river

Rescuers are searching a river in central Myanmar after a ferry capsized killing at least 14 people.

More than 85 are still missing after the accident early on Saturday morning in the Chindwin river, officials say. At least 150 have been rescued.

Passengers are thought to include families and a large group of university students and teachers.

It is unclear what caused the accident, although officials say the boat may have been overcrowded.

Reports say the ferry was carrying at least 250 people at the time of the accident, while its official capacity is about 120.

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption Anxious relatives have been watching rescue operations from the river bank

One survivor, Hnin Lei Yee, told AFP news agency that the sinking in Sagaing region "happened very fast".

"The window was open so I had a chance to get out of the boat... I cannot swim, so I had to hold on to a plastic float and finally the rescue boat came to save my life," said the 27-year-old teacher who lost her baby daughter in the accident.

A rescue official told Reuters that they had located the ferry on the river bed and were now trying to salvage it with cranes.

Marine accidents are common in Myanmar (also known as Burma), where many still rely on rickety and crowded boats for transport.

Related Topics

More on this story