Sri Lanka: At least six dead – including four children – after ferry capsizes

At least six people, including four children, have died after a ferry capsized off the coast of eastern Sri Lanka.

A total of 12 people have been rescued so far, a spokesperson for the country’s navy, Captain Indika de Silva, confirmed.

He added that a search operation was continuing to take place.

The ferry was travelling from Kurinchakeni to the town of Kinnaya along the eastern coast of Sri Lanka and was about 160 miles northeast of the country’s capital, Colombo, at the time of the accident.

A policeman and a hospital worker, who asked to remain anonymous, had confirmed the deaths.

Pictures show police and members of the navy at the scene, with crowds of people standing on the shoreline.

It is unclear how many people were on board the ferry at the time of the accident, or what caused it to overturn.

Ferry accidents are relatively rare in Sri Lanka because many locations are connected by bridges.

However, the bridge that connects the towns of Kurinchakeni and Kinnaya has been closed for repairs, forcing people to use rudimentary boats to cross the river, according to social activist, Naazik Majeed.

Some residents have blamed officials for the accident and have retaliated by burning tyres and surrounding government offices.

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