New Year tragedies

8 dead after boat carrying 45 capsizes in Indonesia

At least eight people were killed after a boat carrying 48 passengers including children sank off Indonesia's Kalimantan island on Monday, rescue officials said.
Some 33 people were rescued after the passenger boat capsized just minutes after leaving Tanjung Selor in North Borneo province yesterday.
Some 33 people were rescued after the passenger boat capsized just minutes after leaving Tanjung Selor in North Borneo province yesterday.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA • At least eight people died and several others remained missing after a passenger boat capsized off the coast of Borneo yesterday, an official said, in the latest deadly maritime accident in Indonesia.

The ferry was carrying some 45 people when it sank just minutes after leaving Tanjung Selor in North Borneo province, said Mr Gusti Anwar Mulyadi, a senior official of the local search and rescue agency.

Some 33 people have so far been rescued and navy personnel have been dispatched to search for the remaining passengers, but he said high waves are impeding operations.

"We don't know yet what has caused the accident and how exactly it happened. But we'll try to figure that out and are now focusing on finding the remaining passengers," Mr Mulyadi told Agence France-Presse.

It is the latest boat accident in the vast Indonesian archipelago, which relies heavily on boats to ferry people around its 17,000 islands, but has a patchy safety record. Last July, eight people drowned in a boat accident on the same route from Tarakan to Tanjung Selor.

On New Year's day last year at least 23 people died when a tourist boat from Jakarta burst into flames. It was carrying about 250 local holidaymakers to celebrate the New Year on Tidung island near Jakarta.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 02, 2018, with the headline '8 dead after boat carrying 45 capsizes in Indonesia'. Print Edition | Subscribe