Naypyidaw, April 18: During the four-day annual ‘Thingyan’ Water Festival in Myanmar, 285 people died while 1,073 were injured, official media said Tuesday. The state-run newspaper reported 285 people were killed and 1,073 others injured as 1,200 crimes and accidents occurred across the country. Compared to last year’s figures of 967 crimes, 272 deaths and 1,086 injured cases, 233 more cases and 13 more deaths occurred in this year’s water festival.
On the last day of the water festival, 61 crimes occurred, including one murder case, 13 injuries from five car accidents, 29 injuries from 20 violence cases, seven other cases, two cases involving arms, two drug cases, 23 suspected cases of theft, and one death case. A total of 1,200 crimes occurred and caused 285 deaths and 1,073 injured.
In Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory, there were 39 cases that resulted in 10 deaths and 28 injuries. In Kachin State, there were 34 cases resulting in nine deaths and 15 injuries. In Kayah State there were seven cases that resulted in one death and six injuries. In Kayin State, there were 15 cases resulting in five deaths and 31 injuries.
In Chin State, there were three cases in which one died and one was injured. In Sagaing Region, there were 167 cases resulting in 26 deaths and 194 injuries. In Taninthayi Region there were 42 cases in which 11 persons died and 35 were injured. In Bago Region, there were 154 cases resulting in 37 deaths and 183 injuries. In Magway Region, there were 56 cases in which 11 died and 45 were injured. In Mandalay Region, there were 160 cases that resulted in 36 deaths and 136 injuries.
In Mon State, there were 50 cases in which 20 died and 66 were injured. In Rakhine State, there were 47 cases in which 17 died and 66 were injured. In Yangon Region, there were 223 cases in which 44 died and 111 were injured. In Shan State, there were 59 cases in which 29 died and 52 were injured. In Ayeyawaddy Region, there were 144 cases resulting in 28 deaths and 104 injuries.
Meanwhile, Thingyan festival, takes place toward the end of the hot, dry season and ushers in the Myanmar New Year. This festival is also celebrated in neighboring Theravada Buddhist countries; Songkran in Thailand and Laos, Chaul Chnam Thmey in Cambodia.
The festival lasts three or five days. Standing on bamboo stages erected along the streets, people splash water on passersby. Powerful water pipes douse people driving by in jeeps and trucks. Children use water pistols to drench their friends, relatives, and anyone else in range - only monks and the elderly are safe.