Eight pilgrims die when boat sinks off Indonesia's east

A boat in Indonesian Good Friday procession sank in the Gonzalu Strait in the country's east; Dozens of other boats were forced to turn around and pluck victims out of water.

Eight pilgrims die when boat sinks off Indonesia's east

World Bulletin / News Desk

Eight people including three children died when a boat in an Indonesian Good Friday procession sank in the Gonzalu Strait in the country's east on Friday.

Dozens of other boats crammed with pilgrims travelling to a religious statue in an island chapel were forced to turn around and pluck victims out of the water.

Paulus Igo Geroda, the head of the Regional Disaster Management Agency, told the Anadolu Agency that 55 passengers were rescued when the boat went down between the mainland and the island of Flores Adonara.

Eight people died, around 30 are still being treated at East Flores hospital, while 17 people have been allowed home, he said.

“Rescue teams continue searching since possible victims may not have been found,” Geroda added.

He said that possible causes for the accident may have been that the boat was overloaded or the water current too strong.

Dionysius Mbesi, who was on a boat that rushed to aid victims, said that the crew had jumped into the sea to try and help "but due to the problems with the current we only succeeded in rescuing eight people."

As part of the Good Friday tradition, Catholic pilgrims from the area and across Indonesia participate in a procession of dozens of boats and motorboats to the statue of Sir Meninu in Larantuka, the capital of East Flores Regency.

Nova Pari, a witness to the accident, said that the boat that went down contained around 100 pilgrims.

Last Mod: 18 Nisan 2014, 16:15
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