(CNN) -- At least 40 people died when a crowded river boat sank in central Vietnam Sunday -- on the eve of the Lunar New Year.
People stand around bodies of victims from the river boat accident.
The boat sank in the Gianh River as it was leaving a pier in the Quang Binh province, the state-run Vietnam News Agency said.
Among the 40 victims were many women and children, the agency said.
Witnesses told the daily newspaper Thanh Nien that passengers on the boat were headed to a market on the other side of the river to shop on the last day of the Year of the Rat.
Thirty-five passengers were rescued or managed to swim to safety, the newspaper said.
The new lunar year, Year of the Ox, began Monday.
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