Indonesia ferry carrying 250 people sinks-minister

An Indonesian ferry carrying 250 passengers has sunk in bad weather in the country's east, Indonesia's transport minister told Reuters on Sunday.

Indonesia ferry carrying 250 people sinks-minister

Jusman Syafi'i Djamal said 150 people had been taken off the ferry, adding he did not know if they were dead or alive.

"There's a tropical cyclone now which caused tides of five to six metres. There's a combination of 250 passengers and cargo (on board)," Djamal said by telephone.

The ferry left Pare-pare, on the island of Sulawesi, late on Saturday afternoon and was heading for Samarinda, in East Kalimantan, but got into difficulties and sank at around 4 a.m. on Sunday morning, Taufik Bulu, head of maritime safety at Pare-pare port administration, told Reuters.

He said the ferry was carrying 250 passengers and 17 crew.

A transport agency spokesman earlier said 18 people were known to have survived, but did not give details. Another official at the Transport Ministry said a rescue was under way.

"We are checking and our people there are trying to save people now," said Bambang Ervan, spokesman for the ministry.

Ferry accidents are common in Indonesia, the world's largest archipelago.


Last Mod: 11 Ocak 2009, 19:30
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