Dozens Die in Indonesia Ferry Incident, Search Goes On

At least 34 persons were killed while 155 others rescued after a boat capsized off the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, authorities said on Wednesday.

"We are still trying to evacuate the passengers with help from the police, army, search and rescue agency as well as locals", Ali said.

The vessel was believed to be operating illegally with no manifest and not enough life jackets when it disappeared into the depths of Lake Toba, a picturesque tourist spot in Sumatra.

In a statement, the director general of sea transportation, Agus H. Purnomo said that the captain ran it onto a reef so it wouldn't sink and to make the evacuation of passengers easier.

A fleet of smaller boats was working to save passengers as bad weather was preventing larger vessels from getting near the location, the transportation ministry said.

He didn't specify how many but said the captain and the boat owner were the last two people to leave the vessel.

As the boat began taking on water, the captain of the ship steered the vessel toward the nearby Selayar Island, and deliberately crashed it in the shallows to save as many lives as possible, according to Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for Indonesia's disaster management agency.

"We lost our two very dear children - both have left us", Soleh, who uses only one name, said after laying a stone in memory of his kids at the groundbreaking ceremony.

This handout picture taken and released on July 3, 2018 by Indonesia's Badan Nasional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB), the accident mitigation agency, shows passengers clinging to the side of a ferry as it sank off the coast of Selayar island, in South Sulawesi province.

It had more than 130 people on board as well as cars and motorcycles.

More than 300 people are estimated to have drowned in 2009 when a ferry sank between Sulawesi and Borneo islands. A lot of them appeared to be wearing lifejackets.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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