Search continues for one missing after hundreds rescued from Indonesian ferry fire

Smoke billowing from the KM Karya Indah passenger ferry in Indonesia's Molucca Sea, after a fire broke out on Saturday .
Smoke billowing from the KM Karya Indah passenger ferry in Indonesia's Molucca Sea, after a fire broke out on Saturday .PHOTO: AFP

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Search and rescue teams are looking for a person still missing after hundreds were rescued from a passenger ferry that caught fire in Indonesia's Molucca Sea, local officials said on Sunday (May 30).

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 early 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 search and rescue plan (will be conducted) by a joint search and rescue team," Ternate search and rescue team head Muhamad Arafah said in a statement on Sunday.

Initial reports suggest the fire may have started in the engine room. Indonesian officials said they are investigating the cause of the incident.