Seven teens miss­ing after boat cap­sizes in In­done­sia

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Seven teenagers were feared dead yes­ter­day, a day after they went miss­ing when their boat cap­sized on a river in In­done­sia, of­fi­cials said. None have been found de­spite a ma­jor res­cue op­er­a­tion.

The wooden boat was car­ry­ing 25 Is­lamic board­ing school male stu­dents across the Ben­gawan Solo river on Java when it cap­sized early Fri­day. Of­fi­cials said they suspected over­load­ing caused the boat to tilt. “They were about to reach land, about seven me­tres away or so, but the kids, prob­a­bly from overex­cite­ment, came to the front of the boat, mak­ing the boat un­bal­ance,” Suprapto, a lo­cal dis­as­ter man­age­ment of­fi­cial, told AFP.

The miss­ing pas­sen­gers were aged be­tween 12 and 19. Eigh­teen other pas­sen­gers sur­vived, Suprapto, who like many In­done­sians goes by one name, added. Scores of res­cuers were de­ployed to search the river us­ing in­flat­able boats soon after the ac­ci­dent but none of the miss­ing has been found so far. Res­cuers said rain, muddy wa­ter and strong cur­rents were ham­per­ing the search. In­done­sia has a poor wa­ter trans­port safety record and reg­u­larly suf­fers fa­tal boat ac­ci­dents.

Last month, an ex­plo­sion on a speed­boat on the re­sort is­land of Bali left two for­eign­ers dead and 18 other tourists in­jured. — AFP

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