At least 14 children dead as ferry sinks in Cambodia’s Mekong River


PHNOM PENH—At least 14 children died after an overloaded ferry trying to take them home from school sank on Cambodia’s Mekong River, officials said Friday.

Rescuers were looking for another student after Thursday’s incident in Kandal province, about 53 kilometers (33 miles) southeast of the capital Phnom Penh, provincial police chief Chun Soshet told Reuters.

The victims were between the ages of 11 and 14, he added.

“This incident was caused by the boat owner overloading the vessel, being negligent and lacking a life jacket for protection,” he said in a social media post.

Two students and two adult boat operators survived, according to AFP news agency.

Prime Minister Hun Sen expressed his condolences on social media and instructed authorities to support the victims’ families.

“People, especially those living along rivers, have to be very careful when flood conditions are getting worse,” he said, referring to the ongoing monsoon season.

Millions of Cambodians live and work near the Mekong River, an important waterway that flows through several countries in Southeast Asia and China.