Many dead in Indonesia ferry fire

Fire kills 11 off the coast of Java while three more die in train collision in Banjar district.

    At least 11 people have been killed after a fire broke out on a ferry travelling between the Indonesian islands of Java and Sumatra, the transport ministry has said.

    The ferry caught fire in the Sunda Strait, about three kilometres from the port of Merak at the westernmost tip of Java, at around 3.30am on Friday (20.30 GMT on Thursday).

    "Eleven people have been killed, and 427 people have survived. We don't know how many people are missing, hopefully there are none," Wiratno, transport ministry director for maritime passenger services, said.

    Many passengers were transferred to a hospital in Cilegon on Java for treatment.

    Wiratno said a vehicle inside the ferry was the suspected source of the fire.

    Deadly train collision

    In a separate incident, at least three people were killed and a dozen injured when two passenger trains collided at a train station in Banjar district, on the border of West and Central Java.

    One of the trains slammed into another that had stopped at a track.

    "Three people were killed," Bambang Ervan, a transport ministry spokesman, said on Friday.

    Twenty-one people have been taken to hospital - some with critical injuries.

    Poor infrastructure, corruption and weak safety standards are often cited as factors contributing to frequent transport disasters in Indonesia.

    In October last year, 36 people were killed in a train collision in central Java.

    Up to 335 people were killed when a heavily overloaded ferry sank off the island of Sulawesi in January 2009.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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