Two men electrocuted at Inle pagoda festival

Two men electrocuted at Inle pagoda festival

Two men died and another was hospitalised when they were electrocuted during the annual Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival in Shan State on Monday.

The deceased — 20-year-old San Tun Naing and 16-year-old Chan Nyein Thu — were taking part in the festival, held each year on Inle Lake, when a flag pole on the boat they were using to pull a barge carrying Buddha images touched an overhead electrical line.

“They had a flag on their boat flying from a steel pole. The pole hit an 11-kV power cable running overhead, and they died instantly,” said Myint Naing, an official in the Electricity Department, adding that a third man also sustained injuries in the incident.

“A third person who was also injured has been sent to a local medical centre where he is receiving treatment and is in a stable condition,” he said.

Than Win, a member of the Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Trustee Committee and an organiser of the event, said the incident would not affect the schedule of the festival.

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“They should have laid down the flag pole when the boat went underneath the cable. It was a dangerous mistake,” said Than Win.

“But it’s not going to affect the festival, as the incident only happened during the parade but not at the actual site. I would like to urge visitors to still come and join the event.”

The Inle Hpaung Daw U Pagoda Festival will take place this year from 2 to 19 October.

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