Asia

11 dead after boat capsizes off Sri Lanka's southwest coast

Sri Lanka's navy and rescue boats are seen engaged in rescue operation after a boat capsized in the Indian Ocean off the country's southwestern coast in Beruwala, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

Sri Lanka's navy and rescue boats are seen engaged in rescue operation after a boat capsized in the Indian Ocean off the country's southwestern coast in Beruwala, 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Feb. 19, 2017. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

At least 11 people were killed and 24 others rescued Sunday after the boat they were traveling in capsized off of Sri Lanka's southwestern coast, police said.

The boat was among 19 that took part in a religious festival procession from the fishing town of Beruwala, around 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the capital, Colombo, said police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody.

The tragedy occurred when the boats were returning from the festival.

Jayakody said in a statement that seven women and four men died. The 24 people who were rescued were being treated at a hospital.

The cause of the accident was not immediately known.

Fishing families in Beruwala travel by boat every year to the Roman Catholic church feast in the town of Kalutara.