MANDALAY — Nine children died in Mohnyin Township, Kachin State, in a boat accident on Inn Daw Gyi Lake on Sunday.
A group of eighth-grade students was visiting a pagoda on the lake for a festival when their boat was hit by heavy winds and waves.
According to local officials, the boat was overloaded with 18 people: 15 students, their teacher, the boat driver and his daughter.
“It was in the evening, when we usually have heavy winds and waves on the lake. The boat was overloaded and it seems it could not be controlled properly in the heavy waves,” said U Kyaw Kyaw Win, a state lawmaker representing Mohnyin.
Rescue teams arrived soon after the boat sank and were able to save nine people, including the teacher and boat driver. The bodies of the eight students and the driver’s daughter were recovered on Monday morning.
“It seems the teacher wanted her students to be happy and refreshed before the exam. But the teacher has been traumatized by the sad incident. We are also saddened by the incident because these students have to enter the year-end exam today,” U Kyaw Kyaw Win said.
According to officials, the rescued students were receiving medical care at a local hospital as of Monday.
“Such incidents are common on Inn Daw Gyi. However, the death of nine people is tragic. We advise every visitor to wear a life jacket and the boat drivers not to overload and to be careful in the evening when there are usually heavy winds. If everyone follows the safety measures, there will be no such sad incidents,” the lawmaker said.