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15 Burmese pilgrims drown while crossing flooded causeway to reach Buddhist temple

Maya Taylor

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PHOTO: Facebook/Kengtung City
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At least 15 pilgrims have drowned and at least 3 more are missing after trying to cross a flooded causeway in Myanmar. According to an AFP report, the incident occurred near the town of Thanbyuzayat in the state of Mon. The victims were among thousands of religious pilgrims who were attempting to reach the Kyeik Hne pagoda. The Buddhist temple lies around 3 kilometres off the coast and was being used for a religious festival.

A local official, named in the AFP report as Nai Sahai Eain, said some of the pilgrims died trying to cross the 4-metre-high causeway when the tide was too high. He says officials tried to make them wait but they ignored their warnings.

“We normally allow the people to come at 6.30 am but they would not listen to us and started trying to walk across too early.”

Subsequent overcrowding, with people pushing and shoving, led to additional drownings, with emergency responder Ko Kyaw Thu confirming that 15 bodies have been transported to hospital but there are still at least 3 others missing.

According to local resident Nai Wona, there was a lack of safety markers on the causeway, making it difficult to navigate.

SOURCE: AFP

 

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