Arakan State Ferry Accident Death Toll Rises to 61

By The Associated Press 18 March 2015

RANGOON — The death toll in a ferry accident last week off western Burma rose to 61 as two more bodies were recovered Tuesday, state television reported.

The report on the evening news said that the bodies of 14 males and 47 females had been found so far, and efforts were continuing to recover victims from the ship about 30 meters (90 feet) underwater.

The Myanma Ahlin newspaper reported earlier Tuesday that the number of known survivors was 169.

The crowded government-run double-decker ferry was carrying more than 225 passengers when it left the coastal town of Kyaukphyu. The ferry had traveled 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.