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Ten killed as truck plummets from hillside

(File photo: Feliz Solomon/DVB)

Ten farm workers were killed and two injured after a truck plummeted off a hillside in southern Burma, state media said Wednesday, as road accidents surge during the Buddhist new year holidays. The truck bound for a small village in the Irrawaddy Delta region with 18 people aboard hurtled off the road at around 3 am Tuesday when the driver lost control, according to the state-run Burmese language Mirror newspaper.

“Ten people including the bus conductor Hla Thein Oo were killed,” said the Mirror, adding that two men sustained injuries while another five people on board escaped unscathed.

It was unclear what happened to the driver.

The accident comes as tens of thousands in Burma mark the Thingyan [Burmese new year] water festival that has become increasingly vibrant since the end of outright military rule four years ago.

The Mirror said at least 26 people have been injured in car accidents in the country’s main commercial city of Rangoon since festivities began on Monday.

In Burma the transport network is in poor condition owing to decades of underinvestment by the junta which ruled the country for almost half a century until early 2011.

Under the quasi-civilian government now in power the country has seen new vehicles flood into the nation and observers say Burma is seeing more road accidents than ever before.

Thingyan officially runs up to and including Thursday.