Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Another ferry disaster

At least 50 people have drowned after a wooden ferry collided with a barge and then sank in Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Delta. There were about 180 people on board the Naywintun, or rising sun.

The delta is the area that was devastated last year by Cyclone Nargis. Most of the population of the low-lying region depend on river ferries which are often poorly maintained. At least 38 people were killed when a boat sank in the delta in July 2008, while the worst shipwreck in the area came in 1902 when the British steamship, SS Camorta, was caught in a cyclone and sank with the loss of 737 lives.

For other ferry disasters, see my blogs of April 15, Aug 7, Sept 6 and 26.

This day 22 years ago saw one of London’s worst fires of modern times as a carelessly discarded match caused a terrible disaster at King’s Cross underground station. The match set fire to rubbish that had accumulated through years of neglect beneath an escalator. Smoking was supposed to be banned on the escalators but the rule was poorly enforced. The story of how 31 people were killed can be seen in The Disastrous History of London.

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