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At least 50 feared dead after ferry collision on Ngawun river

At least 50 people are believed to have drowned when a ferry carrying 178 people collided with a tugboat on a river in southern Burma (Myanmar).

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REUTERS - At least 50 people are believed to have drowned in Myanmar when a wooden ferry packed with 178 people collided with a tugboat on a river in the southern Irrawaddy delta region, officials said on Tuesday.

Thirty-one bodies were found after the single-deck ferry collided with a tugboat pulling a barge late on Sunday in the Ngawun river, and 21 people were missing, officials said.

"There is very little chance of finding those missing alive. Most of them are women and children," said an official in Pathein, capital of Irrawaddy, about 120 miles (193 km) west of the main commercial hub of Yangon in the former Burma.

Marine accidents are common in military-ruled Myanmar, whose 48 million people rely heavily on crowded, old boats for water transport. About two dozen pilgrims drowned when their overcrowded motorboat sank in central Myanmar in March 2008.

 

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