Disasters & Accidents

At least 14 die after ship caught fire off Indonesia

Jakarta, Oct 25 (EFE).- A passenger ship capsize claimed at least 14 lives after the vessel caught fire off Indonesia, the country’s rescue agency said on Tuesday.

The shipwreck occurred on Monday when it had more than 320 people onboard.

The Basarnas rescue agency said the vessel sent an emergency signal on Monday when it detected the fire while sailing between the cities of Kupang and Kalabahi in the East Nusa Tenggara province.

After receiving the alert, the agency launched a major search and rescue operation in which several emergency teams, police, and volunteers participated, a Basarnas statement said.

Videos of the accident showed some passengers with life jackets floating after they jumped into the water to escape the flames.

The agency said searchers rescued 312 passengers.

Maritime accidents are common in Indonesia due to poor infrastructure, overloaded passenger and cargo vessels, lax enforcement of safety regulations, and inclement weather.

Boats are among the top means of transportation in the Indonesian archipelago of more than 17,000 islands with a population of more than 270 million inhabitants.

In 2018, at least 160 people died when a ferry sank in Lake Toba on the island of Sumatra. EFE


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