Arakan Ferry Accident Death Toll Climbs to 59

By The Associated Press 17 March 2015

RANGOON — The death toll in a weekend ferry accident off Burma’s northwestern coast has increased to 59 as more bodies were recovered, state-run media reported on Tuesday.

The Myanma Ahlin newspaper said that rescuers pulled 23 more bodies out from inside the ship in about 30 meters (90 feet) of water, but that the number of survivors increased to 169 from 167.

The crowded government-run double-decker ferry was carrying more than 225 passengers when it left the coastal town of Kyaukphyu. The ferry had travelled about 80 kilometers (50 miles) north near Myebon in Arakan state Friday night when it hit rough seas and capsized after taking on water.

Boat accidents due to overcrowding and bad weather are common in Burma’s river deltas and coastal regions. People rely on boat transport because of the lower cost and the inaccessibility of many areas by road.