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Ferry sinks, injuring boy, ruining rice

A crammed passenger boat plunged to the bottom of the usually peaceful Tonle Touch waterway on Tuesday in Prey Veng’s Peamro district after it collided with a sand-dredging boat, injuring a 15-year-old boy.

Ten motorbikes, seven bicycles and about one tonne of rice were submerged in the small river before sinking to its floor.

The 15-year-old boy suffered a broken hand as panicked pas­sengers jumped overboard and swam to shore.

Workers on the sand dredger, anchored in the river’s centre, also threw ropes into the water to pull passengers to safety.

Peamro police chief Seng Pon­lok said an unusually strong current had made it difficult for the passenger ferry to slow down.

“However, no one drowned in the incident because they could all swim,” he said.

He said the ferry was hoisted out of the river yesterday, but the passengers’ property remained under water, adding police had ordered the passenger ferry’s owner in for questioning.

Nuon Chamrong, chief of the transportation department, said authorities would send divers in to recover the sunken property, while district police would contact witnesses and assess the damaged vehicles to uncover the cause of the crash.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sen David at david.sen@phnompenhpost.com

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