Year-on-Year Thingyan Holiday Deaths Drop Dramatically

By Zarni Mann 18 April 2019

MANDALAY — A total 288 people died and more than 1,000 were injured across the country during the four days of this year’s Thingyan holiday, the Ministry of Information announced Wednesday, marking a significant decrease compared to the year before.

The ministry said 29 deaths and 130 injuries were directly related to festival events, including road accidents, fights, murder and drowning.

Road accidents and fights typically spike in the lead-up festivities to Burmese New Year’s Day as many travel to other parts of the country and celebrate by drinking heavily.

Unrelated to festival events, the ministry counted 115 deaths and 728 injuries from road accidents, 31 deaths from murder, 113 deaths from downing and other incidents, and 144 injuries from fighting.

The figures include the nine people who died when an overloaded ferry headed for a Thingyan event in Sagaing Region’s Monywa Township sank on the Chindwin River on the second day of the festival.

During the 2018 Thingyan, a total 642 people died, 106 of them in road accidents.

The Information Ministry also said that 2,700 people were arrested for drug and weapons possession during this year’s festival and that police were preparing charges against them.