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Mother, son missing as boat sinks in Mekong

A Vietnamese mother and child are missing after the boat they were on, carrying 200 tonnes of iron pipes from Vietnam, sank yesterday on the Mekong River in Kandal province.

Kien Svay district police officer Rorng Se yesterday said the two missing victims were a 28-year-old mother and her 2-year-old son.

Six other passengers aboard the vessel swam to safety. The adults were all Vietnamese nationals employed by the Vietnamese owner of the boat.

The boat arrived at Banteay Dek commune around 5:30pm on Sunday, Se said. However, at 3am, when those onboard were sleeping, the water level fell low enough that the boat hit the riverbed and broke apart.

“Until now we have not found the two missing people, and both the boat and the 200 tonnes of iron have not yet been retrieved,” Se said.

Local villager Yu Lem had purchased the iron from a Vietnamese supplier, Se said. The metal had not been taken off the boat because it was raining at the time it arrived.

Two people died last Wednesday when a Mekong River ferry sank in bad weather in Kandal province’s Lvea Em district.

The body of a 53-year-old farmer who drowned was recovered immediately while a 2-year-old girl was trapped underwater in the ferry.

Khuth Chun, Koh Koe commune police chief, said yesterday that her body was recovered on Friday when the ferry was lifted out of the water.

Additional reporting by Khouth Sophak Chakrya

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