Hunt on for Indonesia ferry victims

Nearly 250 remain missing after high waves hit ferry 50km off western Sulawesi in Indonesia.

    Indonesian officials said the ferry was
    not overcrowded when it sank [EPA]

    'More deaths'

    "There is a greater possibility than many more died than we expected because it happened when they were sleeping," said Taufik Bulu, head of maritime safety in the port of Pare-Pare.

    Maritime disasters

    December 2006
    More than 400 people killed after ferry breaks apart and sinks in Java Sea during violent storm.

    February 2007
    At least 42 people killed in fire on ferry carrying 330 passengers.

    July 2007
    Passenger ship carrying 70 people disappears off eastern Indonesia after reporting engine failure in stormy seas.

    Rustam Pakaya, head of the health ministry's crisis centre, said on Monday that six deaths had been confirmed in the accident by Sunday evening.

    The ferry was about 50km off Majene, western Sulawesi, when officials lost contact with it around 2am on Sunday.

    The 700-tonne Teratai Prima was carrying about 250 passengers and 17 crew members when it sank as it sailed from Pare-Pare in South Sulawesi to Samarinda in East Kalimantan.

    "I was travelling with family, but my wife and four of my kids are still missing ... only I survived," one man told The Associated Press.

    Sulawesi and Borneo islands have been bashed by storms, heavy rains and high winds for several days amid the tropical wet season.

    Ferry transport is crucial in Indonesia, a massive archipelago of some 17,000 islands and 234 million people.

    Sea accidents routinely claim hundreds of lives each year, largely due to poor enforcement of safety regulations and overcrowding.

    But officials say the Teratai Prima, with a capacity of 300 passengers, was not overloaded.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    The woman who cleans up after 'lonely deaths' in Japan

    When somebody dies lonely and alone, Miyu Kojima steps in to clean their home and organise the mementos of their life.

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    Putin and the 'triumph of Christianity' in Russia

    The rise of the Orthodox Church in Russia appears unstoppable, write filmmakers Glen Ellis and Viktoryia Kolchyna who went to investigate the close ties between the church and Putin.

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    The chill effect: Is India's media running scared?

    Much of India's media spurns a scoop about the son of PM Modi's right-hand man. Plus, NFL as platform for race politics.