Indonesian ferry sinks killing at least a dozen people

Rescue operation underway after passengers forced to jump into sea

Tuesday 03 July 2018 15:59
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Indonesia ferry sinks leaving 12 passengers dead and throwing cars into sea

At least 12 people have been killed after a ferry was run aground off the Indonesian coast by its captain in a desperate bid to save lives.

Passengers were forced to jump into the sea as the captain steered the 48.5-metre-long vessel towards shore after it began sinking.

The Lestari Maju ferry was about 200 meters from shore and was carrying 139 passengers as well as cars, trucks and motorcycles.

The ship was travelling from the port of Bira to Selayar Island, just south of the main Sulawesi Island.

Photos distributed via the National Disaster Mitigation Agency showed passengers, most of whom were wearing lifejackets, perched on the vessel as others descended into the heavy seas using ropes hung over its side.

A frantic rescue operation is now underway but at least 12 people have died, including two children aged 2 and 3.

More than 30 people have been rescued and eight of them were being treated in a hospital.

It is the latest in a succession of boat tragedies in Indonesia and comes on the same day that officials called off a search for 164 people presumed drowned when a wooden ferry sank two weeks ago in a deep volcanic crater lake on the island of Sumatra.

Ferry tragedies are common in Indonesia, an archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, with weak enforcement of safety regulations often to blame.

Agencies contributed to this report

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