BATAM 18 dead in boat accident
AT least 18 people are dead and dozens missing after a boat carrying nearly 100 suspected migrant workers capsized and sank in Indonesian waters, police said yesterday.
The speedboat was ferrying 93 passengers from Malaysia to Batam, an Indonesian island just south of Singapore, when it sank, local police chief Sam Budi Gusdian said.
“Eighteen people have been found dead,” he told reporters, adding 39 passengers had been pulled alive from the sea.
The fate of the 36 other missing passengers remains unclear. Search and rescue teams were combing the sea for any sign of survivors.
Police suspect the boat was overcrowded and ferrying migrant workers when it encountered rough seas and capsized.
The Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands is heavily dependent on boat transport, but fatal accidents are common.
More than 60 people died in December when huge waves capsized a ferry charting a course through Sulawesi province. –