BATAM 18 dead in boat ac­ci­dent

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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