Nine people dead as ferry sinks in Indonesia
At least 25 are still missing from a ferry sinking last week off Indonesia's Sumatra island.india Updated: Jun 26, 2006 11:43 IST
Nine people have been confirmed dead and 25 were still missing from a ferry sinking last week off Indonesia's Sumatra island, a search and rescue official said on Monday.
Zaenul Tahar said 95 people had been rescued since the Sinar Mulia Indah ferry ran into bad weather and high waves last Thursday and sank off the west coast of the island.
Tahar said rough weather had hampered the search for survivors and casualties, but conditions were favourable on Monday.
"We found eight bodies just now, early this morning," Tahar said by telephone from Sibolga port in Sumatra, after rescue teams found one body over the weekend.
"I think they were too long in the sea and suffered from dehydration. It's hard to identify who they are."
The ferry, which regularly took people to Nias island, popular with surfers, sprang a leak before it hit huge waves.
Ferries are a popular means of transport between the 17,000 islands of Indonesia, where sea connections are cheaper and more available than air routes.
But safety standards are not strictly enforced and many ferries are overcrowded.