JAKARTA • Hundreds were rescued from a passenger ferry that caught fire in Indonesia's Molucca Sea, local officials said yesterday.
Passenger ferry KM Karya Indah was travelling in a remote part of the Indonesian archipelago, from Ternate in the province of North Maluku towards Sanana on the island of Sulabes, when the fire broke out on Saturday morning.
Dramatic footage from Indonesia's search and rescue agency showed the vessel engulfed in smoke and part of the ship ablaze as passengers in life vests jumped from the deck to lifeboats.
Search and rescue officials said 274 people had been rescued from the vessel without injury and taken to a nearby village, while one person was still missing.
"The search is still continuing. Today's... plan (will be conducted) by a joint search and rescue team," said the Ternate search and rescue team chief Muhamad Arafah.
Initial reports suggest that the fire may have started in the engine room.
Indonesian officials said they are investigating the cause of the incident.
Separately, in Japan, a crew member of a cargo ship was feared dead yesterday after he was recovered near a vessel that had capsized and sunk following a collision in domestic waters, local media reported.
Japanese coast guard ships and aircraft have been searching since last Friday for three missing crew members of the Japanese cargo ship after the collision with a Marshall Islands-registered tanker in the Seto Inland Sea.
Public broadcaster NHK said the coast guard found the crew member in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest yesterday morning near the sunken vessel.
Japan's Transport Safety Board is conducting an investigation on board the chemical tanker, identified as the Ulsan Pioneer.