KOH CHAMROEUN, (*11*) –
Eleven students in southern (*11*) who have been crossing a river died after the boat they have been on capsized, officers mentioned.
Four individuals — two students and two of the boat’s crew — have been rescued following the accident Thursday evening on the Mekong River southeast of Phnom Penh, police mentioned.
The physique of a 14-year-old boy, who had been lacking, was discovered Saturday morning, Maj. Gen. Chhoeun Sochet, chief of the Kandal provincial police, mentioned on his Facebook web page.
The students, who have been between 12 and 14 years outdated, have been coming back from an English class. They lived on an island within the river and used the ferry for transport virtually each day within the wet season, as did others from their village. During the dry season, the river typically has little or no water and might be traversed by foot.
The boat was overloaded and lacked life jackets, the police chief mentioned.
The accident occurred close to the Neak Loeung bridge over the Mekong, which at that time separates Kandal province on the western shore from Prey Veng on the east. The bridge is a part of Route 1, a serious street connecting the capital, Phnom Penh, to Ho Chi Minh City in neighboring Vietnam.
The police chief in Kandal’s Leuk Daek district, Am Thou, mentioned the accident occurred because the boat was approaching the shore. It took on water within the bow, and the students have been instructed to maneuver to seats within the center or stern of the boat.
However, as they walked again, the boat turned unbalanced and turned over.
One of the survivors, 12-year-old Ry Chanbora, was proven in a video broadcast on-line by Swift News telling family members that she usually does not know learn how to swim properly regardless of residing close to the river. She mentioned that when the boat was taking place she jumped out, making an attempt to swim along with her face up, and drifted to the river’s financial institution.
Provincial officers paid a go to to the lady, and King Norodom Sihamoni on his royal Facebook web page provided condolences and prayers for the households of the victims. Prime Minister Hun Sen additionally gave condolences on the Telegram messaging platform.
“May I urge all of the individuals, particularly the individuals who dwell alongside the river, to pay the very best care throughout this flooding interval,” he mentioned, referring to the latest heavy rains that probably contributed to the accident.
Police chief Am Thou mentioned the boat’s two operators had been hospitalized after the accident and would face authorized motion. He didn’t say what expenses they might face.
The World Health Organization mentioned final 12 months that in accordance with assessments in 2019, greater than 144,000 drowning deaths occurred within the Asia Pacific area, 61% of the worldwide whole.
“Of the 70,000 drowning deaths within the WHO South-East Asia Region in 2019, greater than 33% have been amongst youngsters aged underneath 15 years,” mentioned the U.N. company. “On common, males have been three to 4 instances extra more likely to drown than ladies.”
Associated Press author Sopheng Cheang in Phnom Penh, (*11*), contributed to this report.