10 pilgrims killed in Burma boat accident

Feb 13, 2008 (AFP), Ten people have drowned in southern Burma after a boat capsized while carrying them to a Buddhist pagoda, the state media said Monday.

One man and nine women were killed in the Tavoy river when the 36-foot boat sank early Friday, about 350 miles (560 kilometres) south of Burma’s commercial capital Rangoon, the official Mirror newspaper said.

Five Buddhist monks and 26 other passengers were rescued, the paper said, without explaining the cause of the accident.

Burma, one of the world’s poorest countries, depends on old and often dilapidated vehicles for transport, and safety standards are often poor.

Burma has been ruled by the military since 1962, and the sanctions by the United States and Europe coupled with fiscal mismanagement during decades of military rule have battered its once-promising economy.

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