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Owners of school ferry which sank killing four have license revoked, legal case mounted

Myitmakha News Agency

Sittwe, August 23 – the owners of a ferry which fatally sank whilst transporting children to school in Rakhine State’s Yathedaung Township have had their licensed revoked and a legal case mounted against them, according to U Thet Htun, the head of the Rakhine State Development Committee.

“Their activities weren’t in accordance with our regulations. That’s why they’ve had their license confiscated. Efforts are now being made to press legal charges,” he said.

Four children lost their lives when the ferry sank on the morning of August 19 whilst ferrying 17 school children across a local river to their high-school.

“We issued life jackets for the owners of ferry services,” added U Thet Htun. “When municipal staff go and check [whether the life jackets are being used], they have the life jackets in their boats. But as soon as our staff have left, they remove them. Ferry license holders are negligent; some of them didn’t even come to pick up the life jackets from our office.”

There are 330 ferry license holders in Rakhine State. Life jackets were issued for all license holders on July 10, but the ferry which sunk in Yathedaung Township reportedly did not carry any life jackets.

The directive to issue ferries with life jackets reportedly came after the sinking of a ferry in Ponnagyun Township earlier this year.

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