22 November, 2009

Indonesian Ferry Sinks, 29 Dead, 240 Rescued

Indonesian transportation officials say at least 29 people died but more than 240 were rescued Sunday after a ferry sank in rough waters near Sumatra island.

Nearby fishermen scooped victims out of the water after witnesses said massive waves damaged and then sank the Dumai Express 10. Search efforts for more survivors have been suspended until daybreak Monday.

The total number of people who were on board is unclear and some reports say the ferry may have been filled beyond its capacity of 273 people...

The director-general of sea transport said 213 passengers were on the manifest. He said the disparity between reality and the manifest was a "classic case" of breaking regulations.

Authorities say the Dumai Express 10 was sailing from Batam island to Riau province Sunday morning when it sank.

Another ferry, the Dumai Express 15 with 278 people on board, ran aground Sunday after it was hit by large waves on its way from Batam to Moro island. Authorities say all passengers and crew survived.

Indonesians rely heavily on ferries to transport them between the thousands of islands that make up the archipelago. Ferry accidents are common due to bad weather, poor infrastructure and a tendency to overload vessels. (Source by VOA News)


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