10 Children Drowned After Boat Capsizes

Ten children and teen-agers drowned Sunday morning in Prey Veng province when their small boat capsized in a rain swollen stream while heading to a Kathen ceremony at a nearby pagoda, according to the Red Cross.

After the boat flipped, one of the 12 occupants swam to shore and sought help from locals in Basrei village, Preah Sdech district, who pulled a survivor from the water. The victims, seven boys and three girls between 10 and 18 years old, said Mao Song, provincial Red Cross director.

“As far as I heard, the boat capsized because it was full,” Mao Song said. “There was no storm or rock under the water.” He said the occupants also may have been playing in the boat, causing it to flip. The stream is normally shallow enough for people to wade across. But with heavy rains and flooding, the stream has swollen into a river 150 meters wide and

3 meters to 4 meters deep, Mao Song said.

In Kampong Chhnang prov­ince, two children drowned Oct 30 while playing on the Tonle Sap riverside. Nan Sy, a parliamentarian from the province, said a fast boat sent a large wave onto the shore, washing the children into the river.

Prime Minister Hun Sen and the Ministry of Public Works had ordered boat companies and relief boats to slow down to protect people living along the river.


“Authorities should take immediate action to the defying boat because they killed two people,” Nan Sy said.



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