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24/08/2019 - 19:20

Indonesia: 30 passengers missing after ship catches fire

Indonesian rescuers are searching for 30 passengers still missing after a passenger ship caught fire off East Java province, central Indonesia, local authorities said on August 23.

Ship KM Santika Nusantara catches fire off East Java province, central Indonesia (Source: ANTARA)

Ship KM Santika Nusantara catches fire off East Java province, central Indonesia (Source: ANTARA)

The KM Santika Nusantara was traveling between the country’s second-largest city of Surabaya and the town of Balikpapan on Borneo island with 277 people on board when it caught fire on August 22 night.

About 245 people have been evacuated using small boats, while 30 passengers are still missing. Indonesian rescuers are searching for 30 the missing.

The rescuers could not enter the ship but search for victims in waters around the burning ship.

Officials have given no details on the cause of the fire. Rescue efforts were complicated by the boat’s manifest listing only 111 passengers. 

Ferries are an important means of transport in Indonesia, which is made up of some 17,000 islands, and sea connections are cheaper and more extensive than air links.

But safety standards are not always strictly enforced and accidents occur fairly often./.

VNA

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