RESCUERS have been frantically searching for survivors after an overloaded ferry sank in rough waters off the coast of western Burma killing more than 30 people and leaving at least a dozen more missing.The “Aung Takon 3” went down late on Friday after leaving the town of Kyaukphyu on its way to Sittwe in western Rakhine state, police said.
He added that 169 people had been rescued and no foreigners were believed to be on board the ship.
“We suspect that the boat sank because it was overloaded with goods,” the police officer said, adding that the ship was listed as carrying 214 passengers and crew.
“We don’t know how many are still missing because some people were on board without official tickets,” Hla Shwe, a local from Ngaputhone village said by telephone.
“There are many dead bodies which didn’t appear yet,” local MP Maung Lone added, also by telephone. “We estimate about 300 people were on board.” Three navy boats and a host of private vessels were sent to scour the area after news emerged that the ferry had sunk shortly after 8.30pm on Friday (Saturday 1am AEDT).
Locals said the area where the “Aung Takon 3” capsized was notorious for its treacherous waters.