Eight dead, 18 trapped after boat sinks in Indonesia: official | world | Hindustan Times
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Eight dead, 18 trapped after boat sinks in Indonesia: official

world Updated: Aug 30, 2009 12:11 IST
AFP
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Eight people died and 18 are feared trapped inside a cargo vessel, which sank on a river in Indonesia's Borneo Island, an official said on Sunday though state media says the tolls could be much higher.

The Sari Mulia went down after encountering strong currents 100 kilometers from the city of Banjarmasin, in South Kalimantan province, late Saturday.

"Eight people were killed. It's estimated that 18 people are still trapped in the vessel," Health Ministry crisis centre head Rustam Pakaya told AFP, adding 117 people had so far been rescued.

But the Antara state news agency said the number of dead and missing could be far higher because many of those who boarded the boat could have done so without a ticket and would not appear on the manifest.

Indonesia's 234 million people are spread across 17,000 islands and so are heavily dependent on a network of ships and boats, which have a poor safety record.

Up to 335 people were killed when a ferry sank off Sulawesi Island in January. In December 2006 a ferry went down in a storm off the coast of Java, killing more than 500 people.

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