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Three students have been found dead and four others are still missing after a ferry sank in a creek in Arakan State’s Ponnakyun township yesterday.
The ferry was transporting 35 students from their government high school in Poshwipyin village when the boat begun to sink in Ponnakyun Township creek. The group was traveling to their home in Gantgaw village.
Residents in the nearby village rescued 28 passengers, but seven students remained missing until three were located on Thursday morning.
Kan Htun Maung, a representative from a local social assistance group, Mahamate, said the incident took place around 1pm in the afternoon.
“The students were on their way back home on the ferry and the incident took place not too far from the docks of Poshwipyin,” said Kan Htun Maung.
A team of local police and community organisations formed a search squad on Wednesday.
San Tun, Kyatkhintalin chairman of the Arakan National Party (ANP), said three bodies of the four missing students were then found on Thursday morning in a second search.
“On Thursday morning, we recovered three bodies – all girls –while four others – three girls and one boy – are still missing,” said San Tun.
A police officer at the scene told DVB the survivors were returned to their families.
The seven victims were all identified as residents from the village of Gantgaw – Khine Phyo Oo; Khin Phyo Htwe; Nyein Nyein Htwe; Myat Zaw Win; Aye Nyein Soe; Kyaw Kyaw Ma and Yi Wai Lwin.
This incident adds to the long list of ferry disasters in Arakan State. In March last year one vessel sank of the Arakanese coast and killed 62 people on board. This incident sparked an investigation commission formed by the Arakan State government who released a damning report alleging “serious negligence” on the part of the ship’s crew and port authorities.