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33 dead as Burma ferry capsizes

A crowded double-decker passenger ferry has capsized in Burma after being slammed by huge waves, killing 33 people and leaving at least a dozen missing, officials said.

Rescuers pulled 167 survivors from the sea and took them to safety after the Aung Tagun 3 went down near Myebon in Rakhine state, said Red Cross disaster management chief Maung Maung Khin.

He said many of the survivors were sent back to their homes.

Burma's Ministry of Information had reported earlier that around 50 passengers were missing, but the Rakhine state government said the exact numbers were unclear.

The government-run ferry left the coastal town of Kyaukphyu and had travelled around 50 miles north when it hit rough seas, the government said.

Boat accidents due to overcrowding and bad weather are common in Burma's river deltas and coastal regions.

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