Boat sinks in Myanmar commercial hub, eight missing

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Eight people were missing after a boat sunk on a river in Myanmar’s commercial hub Yangon, the local fire department said on Wednesday.

The boat sank after an “accident” at around 8:10 am local time (0145 GMT) in the Yangon river, it said on its Facebook page.

It did not give details on what had occurred or whether any other vessels were involved.

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Local media reported the boat had collided with another vessel.

Nine of 17 people on board had been rescued and search and rescue operations were underway for the remaining eight people, the fire department said.

Boat accidents are common in Myanmar, a poor country with rudimentary transport and weakly enforced safety regulations.

Vessels ferrying people along the coastline and rivers are often dangerously overcrowded, and accidents can have staggering death tolls. It can also take several days for all bodies to be retrieved.

In 2016 73 people, including many teachers and students, drowned when their overloaded vessel capsized in central Myanmar on the Chindwin River.

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