Rescuers hunt for 30 missing after Indonesian ferry catches fire

24 Août, 2019, 22:55 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Survivor Kristiani sits at Tanjung Perak seaport after her rescue

At least four people died and almost three dozen were missing after a passenger ferry went up in flames off Indonesia´s Java island, authorities said Friday.

On Thursday evening, the KM Santika Nusantara was traveling between Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, and the town of Balikpapan on Borneo when it caught fire, government official Syahrul Nugroho told broadcaster TV One.

Television images showed plumes of black smoke coming out of the boat, as search teams hunted for at least 22 missing passengers.

So far, a total of 140 people have been rescued, some of them being rushed onto a nearby island and others to the provincial sea port. Indonesian rescuers are searching for 30 the missing.

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Officials have given no details about the possible cause of the fire.

The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

"The crew couldn't extinguish the fire because the water pumps weren't working so passengers started to abandon the ship", he added.

Passenger ferries are a common means of transport in Indonesia, an archipelago of some 17,000 islands, despite poor safety standards. Many accidents are blamed on lax regulation of boat services. Rescue efforts were complicated by the boat's manifest listing only 111 passengers.

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