Thingyan Deaths Double in 2016

By San Yamin Aung 19 April 2016

RANGOON — The number of deaths during Burma’s five-day water festival, Thingyan, has more than doubled since last year, according to the Myanmar Police Force.

The announcement on Monday said that a total of 35 people died and another 316 were injured between April 12 and 16, when millions of people across the country welcomed the Burmese New Year with wild street parties, ceremonies and water-throwing.

Last year, a total of 16 people died and 356 others were injured because of traffic accidents and crimes that occurred during the Thingyan festivities.

Fourteen of the reported deaths in 2016 were due to traffic accidents, while three were victims of murder. The other 18 deaths during the celebratory period were due to various other unnamed causes. Of the 235 people injured in traffic accidents, 73 were considered serious injuries.

In Rangoon, however, statistics revealed lower numbers than 2015. There was one death in the commercial capital this year—the result of a murder—and 24 reported injuries, compared to three deaths and 69 injuries last year, Police Major Pyae Zone told The Irrawaddy.

He added that the decrease in deaths and injuries this year was “mainly because of fewer traffic accidents in Rangoon compared to 2015.”