Fourteen dead after wooden boat carrying 100 people capsizes off Malaysian coast

People are believed to be Indonesians, who travel to Malaysia for work

Rose Troup Buchanan
Thursday 03 September 2015 09:48

As many as 14 people have died after wooden boat carrying 100 people capsized off the western coast of Malaysia on Thursday.

Maritime authorities confirmed 14 people, 13 of them women, had died in the accident, with local fishermen reporting they were pulling bodies from the sea along the coast.

The individuals on the boat are believed to be illegal workers returning to Indonesia.

Several survivors have been pulled from the water, according to Mohamad Hambali Yaakup, of the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

He added that the boat was likely to have been heavily overcrowded when it capsized.

A rescue mission, staffed by MMEA, is currently underway.

The boat sank in the Sabak Bernam district in the Malaysian state of Selangor, near the busy Strait of Malacca, during rough seas.

The narrow strait is among the busiest in the world, crossed by one-third of the sea’s shipping trade.

Malaysia hosts up to two million Indonesian migrant workers, who often work without visas and in dire conditions. They travel to and from the country in poorly equipped wooden vessels that are prone to sinking.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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