The Straits Times
Published on Sep 27, 2012

Indonesian ferry collides with ship; 210 rescued


JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) - A passenger ferry collided with a ship believed to be carrying liquefied natural gas and sank west of Indonesia's main island, killing at least eight people while more than 200 were rescued.

The ferry carrying more than 200 crew and passengers collided with the ship about 40 minutes into its 90-minute journey on Wednesday morning between Java and Sumatra islands, said Mr Heru Purwanto, an official at Bakauheni port on southern Sumatra.

Experts were checking for gas leaks in the ship. The collision occurred about 6km from Bakaheuni in Lampung province, said Bambang Ervan, a Transportation Ministry spokesman.

"The ferry went down so fast after the collision," Mr Purwanto said. It sank 20 minutes after the captain sent a distress signal, enabling 10 merchant ships sailing nearby in the busy Sunda Straits to immediately start rescuing passengers and crew, he said.